End Voter Suppression in Kenya
End Voter Suppression in Kenya
Why this petition matters
On 9th August 2022, 14,326,751 Kenyans went to the polls to elect the President Ruto - led Government to office. It is surprising to note that there are 29,566,678 eligible Kenyan voters out of whom only 22,120,458 are registered. These figures are readily available on the IEBC website and can be verified by everyone. It is on them that we establish a FACT, that there are MORE eligible voters who DID NOT participate in the recent elections in Kenya THAN those who DID. Add that to the fact that the President garnered 50.4% of the total valid votes cast for the Four (4) total candidates, it points to an underwhelming approval rating for the just-forming government.
There lies the question of voter turnout which is one of the crucial indicators of how citizens participate in the governance of their country. Research shows that higher voter turnout is usually a sign as turnout is mostly associated with voter apathy and mistrust of the political process. This petition advances the school of thought that voter apathy and mistrust of the political process in Kenya have been orchestrated by voter registration restrictions, inadequate voter education, inadequate public participation and candidates' clearance restrictions.
This is an affront on the democracy of a country that has come so far to overcome post election violence and one party political system. To save this situation there is need to undertake legal reforms through Parliament and administrative reforms at the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) aimed at ensuring all eligible voters are registered and as many turn out to vote.
My name is Murimi Karani, you can call me Raww, I am a Kenyan Youth and a licensed Advocate of the High Court of Kenya. I unsucessfully vied in the just concluded elections as an independent candidate and represented Free Kenya Initiative (a coalition of independent candidates) in the succesful Constitution Petition on Independent Candidates' suppression. In the course of litigating, I realized a wider scope of Voter suppression strategies at play confirmed by the low voter turnout and having already developed my interest in voter rights action from 2016 through my Voter education blogs
I note that the majority (over 80%) of those who did not participate in the elections are youth (aged between 18 - 35 years) and wish to dispose off my constitutional duty under Article 3 of the Constitution of Kenya 2010 to champion the right of the youth to participate in the Kenyan Political sphere in line with article 55. To further highlight the issue, I petition to import the majority judgement by the Supreme Court of the United States of America in Shelby County V. Holder to stress the role of parliament and the electoral body in eliminating all forms of voter suppression.
This petition espouses the following prayers;
- Adopting an automatic universal voter registration system based on the National Identification Database.
- Development of a voter education cirriculum for students and potential voters.
- Increased Resource allocation for voter education.
- Establishment of the office of the Public Participation Rapporteur with authority to audit all state agencies and County Governments.
- Establishment of the office of the Registrar of Independent Candidates to action for registration and nomination of independent persons
By signing this petition you become a voice of the voiceless in matters governance in Kenya and help action for a Joint Parliamentary Select Committee to report on the issues highlighted above.