In Summary
  • Mombasa County had the largest percentage of voters identified biometrically (88 per cent) while Nyamira County had the lowest percentage number at 57 per cent.
  • One way to clear voters non-biometrically is the ‘Alphanumeric’ approach. In this approach, the IEBC clerk would receive the voter's national ID card and type the corresponding ID number into the EVID Kit.
  • In terms of absolute figures, we are looking at around two million voters requiring some form of supporting document.

Two weeks ago, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) in possibly one of its most transparent moves, released a huge trove of data behind the voting in the repeat Presidential elections of October 26, 2017.

This is the data that was automatically recorded in the logs of the Kenya Integrated Election Management System (KIEMS) kit, as voters get identified before being allowed to vote.

Indeed the dataset is huge, given that it covers around 40,000 polling stations and runs to over a thousand pages.

Worse still, it is in ‘PDF’ format, which technically is not conducive for deep, incisive, interrogative analytics. Luckily, I got some emerging data scientists from the university to convert the data into a conducive format for analytics.

They managed to mine some interesting analysis that is worth sharing.

The first perspective shows the percentage of voters identified electronically through their fingerprints across each county [CLICK IMAGE].

Mombasa County had the largest percentage of voters identified biometrically (88 per cent) while Nyamira County had the lowest percentage number at 57 per cent.

Put differently, 12 per cent of voters in Mombasa County and 43 per cent of the voters in Nyamira County were allowed to vote using ‘other means’ that were not biometric.

Nyamira County therefore had the largest percentage of voters NOT identified biometrically, followed closely by Kericho at (40 per cent), Wajir at (38 per cent), Nyeri at (38 per cent) and Tharaka Nithi at (38 per cent) respectively.

UNREADABLE FINGERPRINTS

One can only hope that IEBC will be able to investigate and explain to Kenyans why a standard electronic voter identification kit (EVID) would behave so different across these different counties.

But which are these other methods that IEBC uses to identify voters?

During the contentious debates around whether to use complementary methods or not, it was argued that some voters may have unreadable fingerprints, perhaps arising from the nature of their work or accidents prior to voting day.

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