Voters register: IEBC numbers reveal counties that might determine who wins August election
The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has published the final voters' register that shows regions that could be pivotal in the upcoming general election.
Counties in the Mount Kenya region and the Rift valley carry the bulk of the voting population in what appears to be a race that may end up being determined by the historical battlegrounds in the northern part of the country and parts of the South Rift.
The top presidential candidates have been touring different regions in a bid to convince as many voters as possible to assure them a win come the 9th of August. With the official data of voters now out, the campaigns will be seeking to more directly target the voters where they are.
According to voter details published by the IEBC, the Rift valley region which is home to 14 counties remains with the highest total number of voters at 5.34 million.
Central Kenya which is home to five counties has a total of 3.1 million voters, the same as the Nyanza region which has six counties including Kisii and Nyamira.
Nairobi county though a single unit follows with 2.41 million voters and it is one of the most critical counties for the presidential race.
The six coastal counties have a total of 1.96 million registered voters, while Ukambani’s three counties contribute 1.69 million voters.
The upper easter region comprising the Meru area, Marsabit, Isiolo and Embu counties has a total of 1.59 million voters majority of them in the Mt. Kenya region.
The North-Eastern region of Garissa, Wajir and Mandera contribute the smallest number of voters but could be a tie-breaker in a tight contest.
Further analysis shows that the ten counties of the Mt. Kenya region including Laikipia and Nakuru counties from the rift valley bring 5.7 million registered voters. In the past two general elections, the region voted as a bloc with an average of 93 per cent for Uhuru Kenyatta in the August 2017 General Election.
Six counties of the Rift Valley from both North and South Rift, that is Nandi, Uasin Gishu, Elgeyo Marakwet, Baringo, Kericho and Bomet contribute 2.2 million voters.
In August 2017, the six counties voted overwhelmingly for the UhuRuto ticket at an average of 87 per cent.
The Western region of five counties including Trans Nzoia County has a total of 2.61 million voters. In 2017, the region predominantly voted for Raila Odinga then of the NASA coalition.
County-wise, Nairobi could be one of the key battlegrounds for this election. In the previous two general elections, Raila Odinga has been leading President Kenyatta albeit with a narrow margin.
Kiambu County follows in the list of top six counties with 1.27 million voters. Nakuru County follows with 1.05 million voters while Kakamega has 844,000 voters. Meru County has a final voter population of 772,000 while Machakos closed at 687,000 registered voters.
Of interest are counties that have been labelled battlegrounds in recent opinion polls that have also historically had their vote split between two leading coalitions.
Narok County has 398,000 voters, 463,000 in Kajiado, while Trans Nzoia has 398,000 voters. Garissa County has 201,000 voters, while Wajir County has 207,000 voters. Turkana County which has progressively posted a split vote has 238,000 voters.
For a presidential candidate to be declared winner, they must first secure more than half of the valid votes and also secure at least 25 per cent of votes in each of at least 24 counties.
The register of voters has 22.1 million voters across the counties while the diaspora community has 10,443 registered voters. At the prison facilities in the country, there are 7,483 voters.
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