27 October 2017

Kenya: IEBC Receives Electronic Poll Results, Verification Starts

Photo: Capital FM
Verification of votes.

The electoral commission has said it has received results sent electronically from all polling stations where voting took place in the repeat presidential election on Thursday.

But it will take long before Kenyans have an official tally of the result because all the forms have to be brought to the National Tallying Centre at the Bomas of Kenya in Nairobi.

37,000 FORMS

"The verification process will certainly take some time," said Wafula Chebukati, the chairman of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission, at a briefing at about 1.30pm, 14 hours after the last update.

"Once the hard copy results are received from the Returning Officers, they will be verified with the scanned electronic copies from the KIEMS kit and announced," he added.

But he left a trail of loose ends as he refused to take questions from journalists at the press conference and despite promising that he would answer all questions, walked away without doing so.

While the commission said it had received 37,405 Forms 34A, it had said on Thursday that 35,564 had confirmed opening.

This confirmation happens when the presiding officer scans the QR Code using the Kiems kit to open the polling station and start identifying voters using the application on the device.

TURNOUT

The commission had said on its official Twitter page that "5,319 polling stations either didn't open or did not manage to send the 'we've opened' signal."

In its first briefing, the commission had estimated voter turnout at 48 per cent.

Mr Chebukati, however, later used his personal account on Twitter to state that the 48 per cent "was a BEST estimate turnout from the team" and that actual figures from 267 constituencies show 6,553,858 Kenyans turned out to vote.

He had also said that voting in four counties in Nyanza - Siaya, Homa Bay, Migori and Kisumu - had been rescheduled to Saturday and that a notice would be published in the Kenya Gazette showing the specific constituencies in these and other areas where the IEBC would attempt to have voting take place.

ENVOYS

The chairman had also hailed the faster transmission of the Forms 34A from the polling stations, saying: "This is an improvement over the August 8 General Election already."

After the briefing, Mr Chebukati and commissioners Boya Molu, Margaret Mwachanya and Paul Kurgat moved around the eight tables on the floor of the auditorium at Bomas where the verification is taking place.

Ambassadors Robert Godec (United States) and Nic Hailey (Britain) looked on, with Jubilee Party representatives Winnie Guchu, Davis Chirchir, MaryKaren Sorobit and others also in the auditorium.

At the auditorium, Mr Chebukati told journalists: "I'm going to explain even more than you are asking," but then left without doing so.

15 AREAS

By the time of the briefing at lunchtime Friday, the commission had physically received results from 15 constituencies: Mathare, Nambale, Mwala, Mwingi West, Ndaragua, Dagoretti South, Kajiado South, Embakasi North, Kajiado Central, Roysambu, Turbo, Ndia, Bomet East, Kandara and Kathiani.

Mr Chebukati asked the public to be patient and calm.

"We acknowledge the fact that you want to move on with your lives and as such we are working round the clock to conclude on this election process," said Mr Chebukati.

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