Politics in Kenya is about numbers. It is what political enthusiasts call the ‘game of numbers’ and the battle line has already been drawn with the just concluded new mass voter registration organized by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries.
The electoral body has released the final tally of the new number of registered voters added to its database amid claims of voter apathy in most regions during the registration exercise. In the new numbers, IEBC managed only 60 percent of the targeted 6 million new voters this being 3,782,089 voters.
The image below shows the top ten counties as measured against the upper target set by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission:
According to the IEBC, the registration target in the top ten counties shown above ranges from 81 percent to 240 percent.
Nairobi County came out as the county that registered the highest number of new voters at 461,346 followed by Kiambu with 225,995 and then Nakuru with 175,756. The table below shows top ten counties accounting for most applications:
Of the top ten counties that have registered a large number of new voters, Nairobi is a swing county. Swing County means neither Jubilee nor NASA can claim full control of those who will vote for them. Of the remaining nine counties, Kiambu, Nakuru, Meru, Murang’a and Uasin Gishu are perceived to be the ruling party strongholds while the remaining Mombasa, Kilifi, Machakos and Kakamega are counties perceived as the opposition strongholds.
Putting the top ten nine counties into perspective, this is without Nairobi County, Jubilee perceived counties have a total of 773,624 new voters out of the nine counties while the opposition perceived strongholds have a combined number of 493,998 new voters.
However, the number of voter transfers was higher than ever before again with Narobi taking the lead. According to IEBC, majority of people have applied to change their voting venues without and without same counties.
In a statement, the electoral body said, “With regards to voter transfers, we have so far records of 1,001,819 applications. We observed that there are places that experienced more transfers than new registration of voters. Once the data is processed, we shall know the trends and what they mean for preparation of elections e.g. the size of polling stations.”
Politicians across the political divides will be keen to see where the voter transferred to and what that means to them with the oncoming general elections. Both Jubilee and NASA have admitted to have been involved in transferring of voters from other counties to Nairobi.
The electoral body has also begun the registration of prisoners across the country. According to data from the department of correctional services, there are 49,867 prisoners in 118 prisons across the country. This number includes those with National IDs and those without as follows. See the table below:
|WITH IDs IN PRISON||WITH IDs AT HOME||WITHOUT IDS||TOTAL|
The commission has already started registering Kenyans in the diaspora. The registration of Kenyans in the diaspora started on 20th of March and is expected to come to an end on 6th of March this year. In a statement, the electoral body said that, “As per Article 82 (1), (e) the Constitution, and in the spirit of progressive realization of the right to register and vote by Kenyans residing outside the Country, the Commission has commenced registration of voters in Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi and South Africa. The exercise shall go on for a period of 14 days starting February 20, 2017 and ending on March 6, 2017.”
The commission has only sampled out Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi and South Africa with those in other countries such as the United States of America being left out. The voters in the diaspora, however, will only be allowed to vote for the president.
The image below shows the total number of registered voters in all the 47 counties across the country according to IEBC: