ROAD TO KENYA ELECTIONS 2017: WHO WILL HAVE THE NUMBERS IN 2017?

By Stan Oyunga (stanoyunga@yahoo.com)

INTRODUCTION
In the 2013 General Elections, which had the highest turn-out of any election in Kenya’s history (85.91 %), 2 million registered voters did not vote and 7.8 million eligible voters did not even register. That is a total eligible voter loss of 9.8 million (45 % of Adult population did not vote in 2013). Despite setting a voter registration target of 18.2 million Kenyans for the 2013 General Elections, the Independent Elections and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), managed to register only 14.3 million voters (78.6 % of target), by 18th December, 2012. The incremental difference between the 2007 and 2013 Elections was only 56,353, compared with 3,845,030 between the 2002 and 2007 Elections.

IEBC is now targeting to register 11.4 million Kenyans in order to reach a target of 25.7 million eligible voters before the 2017 General Elections, but this figure may be unrealistic as it’s based on the assumption that Kenya ‘s projected population would be 51.4 million in 2017. The actual projected population would be 48.3 million based on average annual growth rate of 2.4 %. Hence since adults make up 50 % of Kenya‘s population, and an average of 80 % of adults usually register as voters, the estimated voters would be 19.3 million (See Report 1A). If 90 % voter registration is achieved, then the figure rises to 21.7 million (See Report 2A). So IEBC should expect to register only 5 million new voters if 80 % registration is achieved or 7.3 million if 90 % is achieved.

2017 VOTER REGISTRATION ESTIMATE

In order to estimate the voter registration in 2017 by county and coalition, I used the Kenya Election Database Version 2.0, an Election Data Analysis and Strategic Election Planning software. From data extracted from the software, it was possible to prepare excel spreadsheets that show voter estimates at 80 % registration for all counties (Report 1A), for CORD strongholds (Report 1B), Jubilee strongholds (Report 1C), and Fifty/Fifty counties (Report 1D). I have also prepared spreadsheets to show voter estimates at 90 % registration for all counties (Report 2A), for CORD strongholds (Report 2B), Jubilee strongholds (Report 2C), and Fifty/Fifty counties (Report 2D).

County strongholds were determined by which coalition garnered the majority votes (above 66.6 %) in that county in the 2013 Presidential Elections. Where both coalitions failed to get a majority, then that county was designated “Fifty/Fifty”. For example in Narok County, the 5 out of the 6 constituencies elected an M.P. affiliated to the Jubilee coalition, but Raila Odinga of CORD had more votes than Uhuru Kenyatta of Jubilee (50 % against 46 %), hence making Narok a “Fifty/Fifty” county. Although Vihiga County was won by Musalia Mudavadi of Amani coalition, it is unlikely that he will stand again in 2017; hence Vihiga was placed under CORD.

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2017 VOTER REGISTRATION ESTIMATE IF 80 % REGISTRATION
According to Report 1A, the 2017 population projection for “Fifty/Fifty” counties is 9.4 million and voter registration estimate is 3.7 million if 80 % registration is achieved. CORD’s share is 51 % (1.9 million) hence total estimated voters are 10.3 million. Jubilee’s share is 46 % (1.7 million) hence total estimated voters are 8.8 million as shown on table below.

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Hence out of the 19.2 million estimated registered voters in 2017, 10.3 million will come from CORD counties and CORD supporters in Fifty/Fifty counties and 8.8 million will come from Jubilee counties and Jubilee supporters in “Fifty/Fifty” counties. Hence CORD estimated voters will exceed Jubilee’s by 1.5 million.
2017 VOTER REGISTRATION ESTIMATE IF 90 % REGISTRATION
According to Report 2A, the 2017 population projection for “Fifty/Fifty” counties is 9.4 million and voter registration estimate is 4.1 million if 90 % registration is achieved. CORD’s share is 51 % (2.1 million) hence total estimated voters are 11.6 million. Jubilee’s share is 46 % (1.9 million) hence total estimated voters are 9.9 million as shown on table below.

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Hence out of the 21.6 million estimated registered voters in 2017, 11.6 million will come from CORD counties and CORD supporters in Fifty/Fifty counties and 9.9 million will come from Jubilee counties and Jubilee supporters in “Fifty/Fifty” counties. Hence CORD estimated voters will exceed Jubilee’s by 1.7 million.
Please note that not all voters in a coalition’s county stronghold will vote for that particular coalition but the aim of these reports is estimate how many voters are expected to be on the IEBC’s official Principal Register of Voters by the date of the 2017 General Elections on 8th August, 2017.
NEW “COMING OF AGE” VOTERS
According to the 2009 population census, there were 7.2 million Kenyans aged 11-18 out of which 3.4 million would have reached the age of 18 by 2012 and able to register as voters. But due to the low number of voters registered by December, 2012 (14.3 million out of target of 18 million), it seems most were not registered. Since the IEBC does not give the voter’s age when registering, it not possible to know the exact number.
Hence by 2017, it is estimated that about 5.8 million Kenyans who had not turned 18 by 2009 will have done so to enable then to register. Due to mortality and other factors only 80% of the 7.2 million will be eligible to register but some may not do so by either choice or delay in issuing ID cards.

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DIASPORA VOTERS

The number of Kenyans in the Diaspora is estimated at 3 million, mostly in the United States, Britain, Germany, South Africa and United Arab Emirates. In the 2013 Elections only Kenyans living in Uganda and Tanzania were allowed to register and vote. Although the 2010 Constitution allows dual citizenship, the logistics and legal provisions led to the IEBC in abandoning plans for Diaspora registration and voting in 2013, except in East African. It is not clear if these problems will have been overcome by 2017. But the Diaspora is expected to have little impact in the voter registration for the 2017 General Elections, although the IEBC has started to collect data on Kenyans in the Diaspora on their website- www.iebc.or.ke
There is an estimated 500,000 Kenyans in the United States, 150,000 in Britain and 50,000 in the United Arab Emirates. About 70 % of the estimated 3 million Kenyans in the Diaspora are adults thus eligible to register and vote.

CONCLUSION

As long as voter registration is voluntary, it will be impossible to achieve 90 % voter registration and even this will be hard to attain unless the IEBC and political parties/coalitions came up with strategies to ensure most eligible Kenyans register. A radical solution is to make voter registration and voting compulsory like in Australia (see my blog “Road to Elections 2017: Should voting be made compulsory?” posted at www.kenyaelectiondatabase.co.ke ).
Although CORD has an advantage when it comes to eligible voting numbers in its strongholds, this will not guarantee it victory in 2017 if many do not register and vote in order to avoid the infamous “Tyranny of Numbers” by Jubilee in 2013. Coalition in-fighting may also lead to a break-up of either of the coalitions or shifting support from one to the other.
© 2015 STAN OYUNGA

REPORTS
REPORT-1A-COUNTIES-80%-VOTER-ESTIMATE-FOR-2017-ALL.xls (450 downloads)
REPORT-1B-COUNTIES-80%-VOTER-ESTIMATE-FOR-2017-CORD.xls (371 downloads)
REPORT-1C-COUNTIES-80%-VOTER-ESTIMATE-FOR-2017-JUBILEE.xls (353 downloads)
REPORT-1D-COUNTIES-80%-VOTER-ESTIMATE-FOR-2017-FIFTY-FIFTY.xls (394 downloads)
REPORT-2A-COUNTIES-90%-VOTER-ESTIMATE-FOR-2017-ALL.xls (347 downloads)
REPORT-2B-COUNTIES-90%-VOTER-ESTIMATE-FOR-2017-CORD.xls (349 downloads)
REPORT-2C-COUNTIES-90%-VOTER-ESTIMATE-FOR-2017-JUBILEE.xls (347 downloads)
REPORT-2D-COUNTIES-90%-VOTER-ESTIMATE-FOR-2017-FIFTY-FIFTY.xls (354 downloads)

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