Voter turnout: IEBC explains to court how total figures were arrived at

IEBC advocate Mahat Somane making his submissions at the Supreme Court on Thursday, September 1. [Twitter]

The IEBC on Thursday, September 1 defended itself against allegations that it understated the total number of voters who took part in the presidential election on August 9.

IEBC, represented by lawyer Mahat Somane, told Supreme Court judges that the total figures read out by the commission's chairperson Wafula Chebukati on August 15 were correct, and not understated or inflated.

Raila Odinga has challenged William Ruto's declaration as president-elect, saying his win was the end product of a flawed and manipulated exercise, including understating the number of Kenyans who turned out to vote.

IEBC said on Thursday that a total of 14,326,751 voters cast their ballots in the presidential election, translating to 64.77 per cent of the 22,120,458 Kenyans who registered as voters in the run-up to August 9, 2022 General Election.

The 14.33 million figure revealed by Somane comprised voters who were identified by KIEMS kits and those who voted after being identified through the manual register.

The lawyer said those registered by KIEMS kits only were 14,239,862. This group voted in 45,994 polling stations out of the maximum 46,229 polling stations.

Somane said those who voted after being identified manually, following failure of KIEMS kits, were 86,889. This group, he said, voted in 229 polling stations.

Makueni and Kakamega counties were some of the areas where the KIEMS kits failed on Election Day.

Voters in some six polling stations - three in Eldas Constituency and another three in Khwisero Constituency - couldn't fully take part in the elections as violence rendered the exercise unsafe, said lawyer Somane.

Odinga had argued that the total number of votes garnered by all the presidential candidates did not match the voter turnout that the IEBC revealed.

According to the petitioner, the voter turnout was well over 65.4 per cent.

On August 15, IEBC chairperson Wafula Chebukati declared William Ruto of UDA party as president-elect with 7.18 million (50.49 per cent) of the votes compared to Azimio la Umoja candidate Raila Odinga's 6.94 million (48.85 per cent).

Four breakaway commissioners Juliana Cherera, Justus Nyang'aya, Irene Masit and Francis Wanderi had, in an August 16 press conference, said that the commission could not account for some 142,000 votes, which "surpassed the voter turnout".

They alleged that Chebukati's total aggregation of the votes cast was in excess by 0.01 per cent, which, according to them, represented 142,000 votes.

"The total percentage from figures of the four presidential candidates' votes is 100.01 per cent, which translates to 142,000. This will make a significant difference in the final results," Cherera said.

She alleged that she and the other three commissioners brought the issue to IEBC chairperson Wafula Chebukati's attention, but he insisted on announcing the presidential results without addressing the concerns raised.