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Since the establishment of the Supreme Court of Kenya in 2011, it has so far determined two disputes arising from presidential election petitions. From the outset, it is important to clarify that this commentary does not purport to review the decisions of the 2013 and 2017 presidential election petitions. It only seeks to review and critique one salient aspect that emerges from the Supreme Court of Kenya’s approach in the treatment of rejected votes in those presidential election disputes.

The case note criticises the Supreme Court of Kenya’s approach which seems to favour the exclusion of rejected votes in the final computation of presidential election winners. It presents an argument that rejected votes are important in the computation of presidential election winners. It does that by raising three major arguments. The first argument flows from a rights perspective; the right to vote. The second argument flows from the constitutional requirement that presidential election winners ought to garner a fifty plus one percentage of the votes to win an electoral contest. The third argument flows from the legal distinction between votes cast, valid votes cast, spoilt ballots, stray votes and rejected votes. Ultimately, the paper concludes by presenting a case for why rejected votes matter in a presidential election petition and why they should be included in the computation of winners of presidential election contests.