An estimated 12 million Kenyans had turned out to cast their votes by the time most polling centres were closing— representing about 60 per cent voter turnout.
The number is not inclusive of voters who were still voting in areas that experienced logistical challenges in delivery of ballot materials either as a result of the adverse weather conditions, mix-up and technical drawbacks.
At the same time, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Chairman Wafula Chebukati said voting in two stations in Turkana West Constituency would continue way past midnight to compensate for the lost time occasioned by insecurity and heavy downpour that hindered transportation of voting materials on time.
On the results that had started streaming in as early as seven minutes past 5pm, the official time when the voting was to end, Mr Chebukati said the first batch of results came from Narok Prison.
Prisoners were only allowed to vote for a presidential candidate of their choice.
On the overall conduct of the polls, IEBC CEO Ezra Chiloba said, “we have seen an orderly process like never before.”
The chairman thanked Kenyans for coming out in large numbers to vote in an exercise that had not witnessed major incidents as had been projected, at least by yesterday night.
“I want to thank voters for honouring the call, particularly the first-time voters,” he said.
The chairman further said they had adopted “innovative ways” to address cases of failure reported on The Kenya Integrated Electoral Management System (KIEMS) where the system could not identify registered voters.
This, he said, entailed using a complementary system, earlier opposed by the opposition to identify voters.
But even as the commission exuded confidence, the close of voting ushered in the most challenging part of the exercise, and with officials from various political parties streaming, tension was beginning to build.
Alive to this reality, the commission was calling for restraint from Kenyans.
“We have now concluded phase one, voting. We are now entering the critical moment, tallying the results,” Mr Chebukati said.
On whether declaration of results from many parts of the country would influence voting pattern in Turkana where voting could continue until morning, Mr Chiloba said it offers no threat to the right of voters there to choose their leaders.