Numbers that show the huge task for IEBC: Nairobi is mother of them all

A voter casts her ballot at Barmukwen Mobile Polling station in Chegilet, Kerio Valley in Elgeyo Marakwet County. [Christopher Kipsang, Standard]

Nairobi county will have the highest number of polling stations in next week’s General Election, because it accounts for the country’s largest number of voters.

The 2.4 million electorates will vote in some  3,643 polling stations spread across the county’s 17 constituencies. The county got the highest additional polling stations – 265 – compared to all the other 46 counties. The city also registered the largest increase in number of voters.

Kiambu, with 2,113, has the second highest number of polling stations, courtesy of its high voter population which stands at nearly 1.3 million.

Following closely is Nakuru, with 2,050 polling stations and slightly over one million voters. Kakamega (1,692) and Meru (1,639) come in at fourth and fifth places, with 844,551 and 772,139 voters respectively.

On the flip side, Lamu County, with 191 polling stations, has the least number of electoral units. It also has the lowest number of voters, 81,453.

It trails Isiolo, which has 218 polling stations, where at least 81,453 voters are expected to cast their ballots. With 333 polling stations, Samburu has the third-lowest number of voters at 100,014. Tana River (367) and Taita Taveta (394) close the five counties with the least number of polling stations. Tana River and Taita Taveta counties have 141,096 and 181,827 voters respectively.

The diaspora, with 10,444 voters, will have 17 polling stations. Prisons have 106 polling stations, as the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission registered 7,483 prisoners as voters.

IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati. [File, Standard]

Nairobi has the highest number of new polling stations at 235, followed by Nakuru at 244. Bungoma, with 191 new polling stations, is third with Migori at 188 and Kakamega, 185, closing the top five.

Isiolo has the lowest number of new polling stations at 23, trailing Lamu (24), Elgeyo Marakwet (25), Laikipia (30) and Embu (37).​

Rift Valley Province leads in the number of polling stations among the former provinces, with 12,359. The former North Eastern has the least at 1,720 stations.

Polling stations domiciled within polling centres are the lowest electoral units. Though they vary in the number of voters, polling stations will have a maximum of 700 voters. Many will have fewer primarily because of the varying number of voters in the 290 constituencies.

The results declared at the polling stations, for all elective seats – President, Governor, Senator, Member of Parliament, Women Representative and Member of County Assembly – will be final, as decided by the courts in previous judgements.

“The lowest voting unit and the first level of a declaration of presidential election results is the polling station. The declaration form containing those results is a primary document and all other forms subsequent to it are only tallies of the original and final results recorded at the polling station,” the Court of Appeal ruled in 2017, a judgement also rendered by the High Court in the famous Maina Kiai case.

The activist had gone to court seeking to have the results declared at polling stations as the final results.