NAIROBI — Vote counting and tallying in Kenya’s General Election has started after polling stations across the country closed.
The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Chairman Wafula Chebukati said in an update on Tuesday evening that voting had been concluded in all polling stations across the country and counting started.
Chebukati noted that the tallying was being done at three levels namely polling centers, constituencies and at the national stage.
At the national tallying center, he said they are verifying transmitted images of the forms used in capturing results.
The forms are being transmitted from polling centers.
The IEBC chairman noted that the commission is heavily relying on technology in the results transmission system, which had been configured to send the results once.
“As a commission, we call for patience among Kenyans as we undertake this rigorous exercise. We endeavor to conclude this exercise as soon as possible,” said Chebukati, adding constitutionally the commission has seven days to announce the results.
Early provisional results from the commission indicated that the leading presidential candidates, veteran opposition leader Raila Odinga and Deputy President William Ruto were neck-to-neck.
Earlier Tuesday, the voting process had gone on smoothly across the country although technological challenges had been reported.
Voters thronged the over 46,299 polling stations as early as 3 a.m., eager to elect their leaders.
The polling stations were opened at 6 a.m. and closed at 5 p.m. Voters cast their ballots with the process starting with identification of one through a technological kit dubbed KIEMS.
Once one was identified, they were then handed ballot papers to mark before dropping in respective boxes.
“As at noon, 6.56 million Kenyans had voted. This equates to 30.65 percent of the 22.1 million registered voters,” said Chebukati.
And by 4 p.m., some 12.1 million voters had cast their ballots out of the 22.1 million registered, which translates to 56.2 percent turnout, said Chebukati.
He said that in some polling stations, the KIEMS kits had failed to work, delaying voting.
The commission, therefore, authorized the use of manual registers in 84 polling stations in Makueni, eastern Kenya as well as 154 stations in Kakamega, western region.
On the other hand, diaspora voting happened in 12 countries, said Chebukati.