Rift Valley voters drop by a quarter, October poll data shows


Overall voter turnout was 39 per cent in repeat election

In nearly a third of the counties less than 15 per cent of registered voters cast ballots in the October 26 election, data from the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) shows.

The 14 counties that recorded a voter turnout of below 15 per cent were from Western, Coast, lower Eastern, North Eastern and Nyanza regions.

However, voters from Central Kenya turned up to vote in the repeat presidential election on October 26 in nearly the same numbers as the August 8 polls, according to the IEBC figures.

With 7,653,930 votes, the overall voter turnout was 39 per cent, calculated against all the 19,611,423 registered voters in Kenya.  Of the cast votes 7,616, 217 were valid while 37,713 were rejected.

About a third of the votes or 2,392,549 were cast in Central region which translated to an average turnout of 82 per cent, a four percentage point drop from 86 per cent in August.  

Of the regions that did not totally shun the election, lower Eastern and Western had the lowest turnouts of nine per cent each, followed by Coast (14 per cent) and North Eastern (19 per cent).

In second place was mid and upper Eastern region including Embu, Meru, Tharaka Nithi, Isiolo and Marsabit counties, with 61 per cent, a decline of 18 percentage points from 79 per cent in August. 

Rift Valley region, which in August had a voter turnout of 80 per cent, this time round registered a voter turnout of 57 per cent, a drop of 23 percentage points. Nairobi, usually a competitive county in any election, registered a voter turnout of 35 per cent compared to 73 per cent in August, a drop of 37 percentage points.

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Luo Nyanza, Mr Raila Odinga’s stronghold, boycotted the election.  Regions that his National Super Alliance (Nasa) had dominated in past elections recorded drastically low turnouts compared to the August polls.  

Of the regions that did not totally shun the election, lower Eastern and Western had the lowest turnouts of nine per cent each, followed by Coast (14 per cent) and North Eastern (19 per cent).

Gatundu North Constituency, which is close to Gatundu South, which President Uhuru Kenyatta represented in Parliament before becoming president, and Kigumo had the highest turnout of 87 per cent.
They were followed by Githunguri, Othaya, Kandara, Lari, Gatundu South, Kiharu, Mathioya and Kinangop which recorded a 86 per cent turnout.

Even though IEBC Chairman, Wafula Chebuti, said that all 25 constituencies in Luo Nyanza did not participate in the October poll and voting material for Kisumu County were not distributed to polling stations according to widespread media reports, the commission’s final results indicated that 905 ballots were cast in Kisumu, of which 899 were valid.

In the October 26 election, 0.5 per cent of the votes were rejected, the same rate as in the August poll that was annulled by the Supreme Court.