Elections 2017

Queries over the disparities in IEBC poll results

IEBC officials verifying results at the Bomas of Kenya before presidential results were released. [Wilberforce Okwiri, Standard]

Glaring inconsistencies are emerging about the actual number of voters who took part in last Tuesday’s polls and the source of the provisional results posted on the portal.

Prior information indicated that the numbers displayed on the portal had been digitally transmitted from the voting equipment at the polling stations.

But the variance with the official results raises questions on how the numbers would have changed so significantly. The reluctance of the electoral agency to produce the legal documentation has not helped to clarify the matter.

International organisations, including the European Union, have voiced their concerns about delays in publishing all the forms 34A and forms 34B.

On Wednesday, however, IEBC said all forms 34B were now available to the public.

Tallying norm

The votes garnered collectively by the eight presidential candidates varies significantly from the aggregates of the other positions.

Typically, the total votes cast for all the six positions should tally, assuming that all voters were given a ballot paper for each elective post.

Official results contained in the forms 34B published late on Wednesday show that 15.1 million votes were cast for the eight aspirants – about 500,000 less than previously indicated on the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) portal.

Nearly 15.6 million votes were cast for the presidency, according to the information that is still being displayed on the portal. Less than 15.1 million votes were cast for each of the other positions.

After accommodating the absence of parliamentary polls in Kikuyu and Kitutu Chache South, about 400,000 more votes had been cast for presidental position than legislators. In Kikuyu, the sitting MP, Kimani Ichung’wa, had no challenger while in Kitutu Chache South, one aspirant died days before the polls, prompting the postponement of parliamentary elections.

Ten days after the polls, several polling stations were still submitting their results for the other five positions, making it impossible to know exactly how many people voted.

But on August 14, IEBC explained: “The last 41 polling station results trickling in are from gadgets with challenges. They are not new results. We had all in signed hard copies.”

However, there is significant variance between the initial and official results even in constituencies that had completed transmitting their numbers.

In Kajiado North, for instance, prior results showed that nearly 7,600 votes were reported as rejected while the official results indicate zero.

It is also unclear how President-elect Uhuru Kenyatta’s votes had reduced from 25,982 to 25,707.

The tally for his main challenger, Raila Odinga, also shrank by 456 to 39,222.

the constituency returning officer, Mark Lempaka, signed the form on August 9, while one party agent signed the following day. The Jubilee Party agent signed on August 18 – today.

It is a variance that is replicated in all constituencies but on different scales, except Matungulu in Machakos where 51,378 votes were cast for the presidency and member of National Assembly positions.

In Nyeri Town constituency, more than 2,000 people voted for the member of the National Assembly than they did for the presidential candidates.

Collectively, there are 21,759 more votes for the MP position than the president across 51 constituencies.

IEBC spokesman Edwin Limo said such inconsistencies could be a result of wrong entries by presiding officers.

“It is likely that the errors arose at entry before the electronic transmission,” he said, adding that the returning officers at the constituencies would have arrested such mistakes.

Should the returning officers fail to detect the errors, the wrong tallies would be transmitted and counted as such since the results declared at the constituency are final.

Delayed forms

He added that some results took longer to arrive owing to failure of mobile phone networks in remote parts of the country.

Mr Limo told The Standard that fake forms have been circulating on the internet with the intention of damaging the credibility of the IEBC.

He also dismissed as rumours claims that returning officers from Kisii and Nyamira had been summoned to sign new forms.

IEBC has, however, been unable to explain why it would take six days to upload 290 forms 34B since receiving the last one on Friday before declaring Mr Kenyatta the victor.

It was not until Wednesday evening that the forms were available, yet they were central in the dispute pitting the Opposition against the electoral body.

Electoral body

Thousands of forms 34A, which indicate the result from the polling station, were available hours after the voting ended on Tuesday.

The electoral agency’s reluctance to make the forms available informed concerns that the commission might have been engaging in fraud, as claimed by Raila and his NASA coalition.

International organisations helped amplify the calls for the publishing of the forms containing the official results.

Raila and his NASA coalition have contested the outcome of the polls and are expected to challenge the presidential results at the Supreme Court by Friday.

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