North Eastern counties hit by low voter turn out

Thursday October 26 2017

presidential election

A Mandera resident casts her ballot on October 26, 2017 in the repeat presidential election. Voting in the county ended without incidents at most polling centres. PHOTO | MANASE OTSIALO | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By NATION TEAM
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Low turnout characterised voting in North Eastern region on Thursday as the repeat presidential election took place.

In Mandera, Isiolo, Wajir and Marsabit, voting went on smoothly but the number of voters was less than those who participated in the August poll.

In Marsabit, about 30 per cent of voters turned up.

PASTORALISTS

However, as most polling stations closed at 5.30pm voting was going on in Illeret ward.

Speaking to the Nation, North Horr constituency returning officer Evanson Githinji said a poor road network and heavy downpour had delayed distribution of voting materials in Illeret.

He said that many local people did not turn up because they had moved away from home in search of pasture.

In Isiolo County, voter turnout in most polling stations was low compared to that of the August 8 elections.

POLLING CENTRES
Voting was also slightly affected by mid morning rain.

Polling centres were officially opened at 6am but voters began to stream in at around 9am.

The situation was the same in Wajir County. In Wajir West constituency only 120 voters had turned up by 4.30pm.

Bahati Primary School Polling Station, the second biggest in Wajir West, had only 39 voters out of 744 registered voters.

DISTRIBUTION
In Wajir East constituency, Wageberi Primary School recorded 375 voters out of a possible 1,646.

Transportation of voting material to various polling stations in Wajir West and Wajir South was hampered by heavy rains.

Wajir County returning officer Patrick Gatuma said he had requested a helicopter from Nairobi to distribute the materials.

Fifteen polling stations in Banane ward, Wajir South, had not received the materials by 1pm.

PEACE
Voting in Mandera County ended without incident in most polling centres.

County elections coordinator David Maro Ade said the exercise was peaceful despite a low voter turnout.

Mr Ade said the low turnout could partly be attributed to the fact that many registered voters live outside the county and did not return to vote.

Other voters are said to be in the grazing fields with their livestock.

Reports by Irene Mwendwa, Vivian Jebet, Manase Otsialo and Bruhan Makong