#Kenyadecides2017: analysis and live updates

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DiA’s Nic Cheeseman, who is on the ground in Nairobi, will be posting live updates throughout the day as the tallying process descends into controversy in Nairobi in a close and hotly contested election.


This page will be regularly updated throughout the day. For more updates, follow Nic on twitter @fromagehomme. For Nic’s latest analysis for the Washington Post, click here.

You can follow the vote count here


09:30    Although we appear to be heading towards the declaration of the presidential selection result today, a search of the IEBC website suggests that many of the scans of form 34A from areas such as Turkana and Mandera have not yet been uploaded.

August 10

20:30    IEBC Chair confirms that they have 40,501 of the 34A forms of the total of 40,833, although all are not necessarily uploaded online to be checked yet. This appears to be sufficient to allow the IEBC to declare the presidential election, so long as the relevant form 34Bs (confirmation of constituency aggregation of forms 34A) have been collected.

18:00      Reports suggest that the IEBC will announce the presidential election result on Friday 11th August. This is a little surprising, as the IEBC has 7 days to declare the results (from Tuesday) and one might have thought they would take the time to do extra verification. There is also some confusion over how many results the IEBC have. While data from 40,313 of 40,883 polling stations has been returned via the KIEMS kits, only 29,000 of the supporting forms (34A – signed by officials and party agents) appear to be in the Commissions possession. Worryingly, only 1,000 forms appear to have come in over the last 24 hours, which suggests that the pace of the forms coming in has slowed markedly. Major delays are unexpected, as the KIEMS kits should be able to send copies of the forms in when they have a strong enough signal, and the kits can be moved to a location with a stronger signal once counting is completed. These forms are essential to verify polling station results. For “Update 9” of the IEBC, click here.

16:00      In the latest press conference, NASA continues to reject the results, suggesting that allies in the IEBC have leaked the “real” data to them. Calls for evidence from journalists are rejected, as NASA leaders say that they will only release their data in a court of law – although NASA is yet to confirm that it will take its case to the Supreme Court if it loses.

August 9

11:00      Odinga and other NASA leaders hold a press conference that effectively states that the election was a fraud from the start and that the IEBC tallying process was hacked by figures close to the ruling party who altered the results at all levels including Governor and Senator. Seems to dismiss entire electoral process, stating “there is no elections”. 

10:20     It appears from the IEBC’s live stream that Jubilee’s Mike Sonko is on course to defeat NASA’s Evans Kidero in the race to be Nairobi Governor. Sonko currently has a lead of 150,000 votes with 91% counted. This would be a major blow to the opposition, as Nairobi Governor is a strategically and economically important position.

02:29     NASA leader Raila Odinga rejects the IEBC results being shown via the livestream. Senior NASA figures call the results “wrong” and a “sham”. In particular, they are concerned that results are being broadcast without the corresponding results form being shown. However, no proof is provided to demonstrate that the figures that have so far been released are contradicted by figures collected by NASA party agents on the ground.

02:00     Important to remind readers that the live stream of the votes coming from the KIEMS kits is not the final election result – this will come from the aggregation of the ballot at the constituency level. If there is any contradiction between the electronic results entered into the KIEMS kits and the scans of the hard copy of the result form signed by election officials and party agents, it is the latter which will take precedence. For this reason, no results have actually been officially announced at this point, and this state of affairs will pertain until constituency level results start to be declared and aggregated at the national level.

01:56      With 57.21% of the vote counted from 29,209 polling stations, the number of rejected votes stands at 280,000 – suggesting that when all is said and done we may end up with an incredible half a million rejected ballots.

August 8

23:20      A number of constituencies that started voting late will continue to vote after midnight in order to complete the process, including two polling stations in Turkana West constituency. This is a significant issue, both in terms of demands on voters and the fact that these voters can see the livestream of results and may be influenced by it.

23:00      It appears that many constituencies (perhaps all) will count all of the results before they actually announce the presidential results (note: this is a separate process to the transmission of the data via the KIEMS kits, which happens automatically from the polling station level). If true, this means that there will be significant delays as it will take some time to count all 6 elections. A further problem with this approach is that most agents and observers will have left the counts by the time that the final declarations are made.

22:20       As results continue to trickle in, it becomes clear that more KIEMS kits have been able to transmit their results than initially feared, as the number of polling stations to be included on the livestream surpasses 25,000.

21:00      High numbers of rejected votes begin to raise serious questions about the counting and tallying process, generating fears of a return to the situation in 2013 when an unfeasible number of rejected ballots caused great controversy before it was revealed that it had been artificially generated by a bug in the vote transmission system. 

17:00       Polls close, but voting continues in many high density areas, and in places where the vote started late – most notably Kibera in Nairobi, where it may take till 7pm to clear the lines (voters are allowed to cast their ballot so long as they were in the queue by the time the polls close).

16:10        Apparently the IEBC is only announcing turnout figures from 25,000 kits, which is worrying as it suggests that something may be wrong with the remaining 16,000 (there is one kit for each polling station, 41,000 in all).

16:00        IEBC reports that turnout has been recorded at 50%, but this is probably a significant underestimate because a) they are releasing figures retrospectively and we don’t know how long it took them to communicate the result to us b) many polling stations did not open on time, c) there are long queues in some areas.

15:37           IEBC announces that turnout was 40% as of 3:00pm, not including those stations unable to use the KIEMS KITS.

15:15           A further official in Kitui has been arrested and charged with voter bribery. This story seems to be linked to the Finance Dept, according to the Daily Nation.

14:45          Slow voting in some places including Kibera suggests that the voting may need to continue until 7 or 8pm tonight (polls close earlier, but all those in the queue when the polls close will be allowed to cast their ballots). 

13:30            Unconfirmed reports from some observers and local politicians that a number of kits are not working in Garissa and that the voting process has reverted to manual in some areas.

12:33         IEBC officials arrested in Changamwe and Malindi for offences including issuing double ballot papers for some contests. 

12:09         County official Gitonga Nkuda apparently beaten by voters in Kitui for allegedly trying to buy votes for the incumbent governor. He was rescued by police and is now in custody. In Elgeyo-Marakwet, county official Silas Rotich is reportedly arrested for trying to bribe voters.  

11:17          According to the Daily Nation, presiding officers in Embakasi East, Kasarani and Westlands have been replaced over delays, while a clerk alleged to have stamped ballots as rejected in advance has also been removed. There had been reports that some opposition voters had been given a ballot paper that had already been stamped rejected on the reverse.

10:51        Chair of IEBC confirms that the Commission plans to give three hourly updates on progress and turnout, but explains that the first update will be delayed as a result of the need to fix teething problems related to use of technology after the polls opened.

10:50       IEBC confirms some challenges in Nairobi with technology in areas including Westlands, but says that ICT officials have been deployed and have resolved the issues and that voting is running smoothly.

10:34       Some KIEMS kits reported not to be working earlier in the day appear to now be functioning. Still reports of some kits not working, but the number seems to be going down rather than up. 

10:00       Voting was delayed in Lasco Club polling station in Mvita after a ballot box was found unsealed, Greenspan polling centre in Embakasi East where there was a lack of furniture and tens, and Rabour Primary School polling station in Kisumu where voting was delayed by 2 hours as KIEMS failed to work

09:37       Voting very slow in some parts of the country, partly because it takes the KIEMS kits a while to identify voters and partly because voters need to cast 6 ballots as 6 elections are being held today.

09:15      So far, reports indicate that the fingerprint recognition system is working on most of the KIEMS kits but a small number are struggling to recognise fingerprints. The number having problems appears to be 1 in 10 or lower. There are 6 spare KIEMS kits in each constituency, so it should be possible for the IEBC to resolve this issue in many cases, though it will take a little while to get the spare kits to where they need to be.

09:00   Reports that the vast majority of KIEMS kits (which verify voters are being used and working. This is a significant improvement on 2013, when over 50% of the EVID (voter verification) kits failed at some point during the day.

08:00    Long queues at many polling stations as people wait to vote, as usual at this time on an election date.



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