It’s all systems go as voters cast their ballots

IEBC officials in Coast region say voting materials have been dispatched and security beefed up

In Summary
  • Mombasa is the most populous with 641,913 registered voters, followed by Kilifi with 588,602 and Kwale comes in third with 328,253.
  • Taita Taveta County has 181,827 registered voters, Tana River has 141,096, and Lamu County has the least with only 81,453 registered voters.
Election materials at Allidina Visram High School for Mvita constituency.
READY FOR ELECTIONS Election materials at Allidina Visram High School for Mvita constituency.

The Constitution of Kenya 2010 requires that a general election be held on the second Tuesday of August every fifth year.

After a long wait, at least 1.9 million registered voters are today expected to cast their votes in all the six counties of the coastal region.

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission county managers from Mombasa, Kwale, Kilifi, Taita Taveta, Lamu and Tana River have assured the residents of adequate planning for election day.

Out of the six counties of the Coast, Mombasa is the most populous with 641,913 registered voters, followed by Kilifi with 588,602 and Kwale comes in third with 328,253.

Taita Taveta has 181,827 registered voters, Tana River(141,096) and Lamu (81,453).

On Sunday, IEBC Mombasa returning officer Swalha Yusuf said they are ready for the election and all voting materials have since been deployed to the polling centres.

“We have received all the material that will be required for this election, our constituency returning officers will pick their materials and dispatch them to their polling stations in readiness for the polls,”  Yusuf said.

Mombasa has a total of 1, 047 polling centres, Yusuf said.

She said inmates from the four prisons within Mombasa will also be allowed to vote for their presidential candidate of choice.

Security officers have been deployed in Mombasa to ensure peaceful polls, she said.

“We have deployed two security officers for every polling station. We also have deployed 20 security officers in each constituency tallying centre,” she said.

In Taita Taveta, some 354 polling stations have been set ready for election day, county returning officer Eisha Mohamed told the Star.

 “So far, we have not encountered any challenge and we are ready to open all the polling stations on time. Our officials are in the process of moving all crucial materials to the centres,” Mohammed said.

She said a multi-agency team of security officers has also been deployed to ensure adequate security, further asking residents to maintain peace.

Mohammed said people will not be allowed to idle around the polling stations.

“Voters are advised to leave the station immediately after casting their vote. The work of monitoring elections should be left to clerks, agents, observers, media and other players,” she said.

The county has at least 181,827 registered voters distributed across the four constituencies of Voi (61,377), Mwatate (44,411), Wundanyi (35,008) and 41,031 in Taveta.

In Kwale, returning officer Obadiah Kariuki assured residents and candidates of free and fair elections.

He said the IEBC officers are not compromised and are strictly abiding by the law to make the exercise transparent and credible. 

However, he said anyone who will be found engaging in any form of election malpractices shall not be spared.

In Kwale, there are 744 polling stations that will be used for the voting exercise, two of them being Kwale Male and Kwale Women GK prisons.

At least 63 prisoners- 59 men and four women, will take part in voting.

In Kilifi, IEBC said they have 1,145 polling stations and 588,602 registered voters, who will be taking part in the voting exercise today.

Kilifi returning officer Hussein Gure said among those who will vote in the election include 240 prisoners.

“In terms of election preparedness as far as Kilifi County is concerned, I can say with confidence that we are prepared for the elections,” he said.

Kilifi North has the highest number of registered voters with 116,942, Malindi(94,605) and Magarini (80,128).

Kaloleni has 73,009, Ganze 67,257 and Rabai constituency has the lowest with 53,115 registered voters.

Gure said there are some regions that are being considered hotspot areas, but they are working closely with security officers to deal with any emerging cases.

“The hotspots will be watched closely and anybody intending to cause trouble will meet with the law,” he said.

Reporting by Alphonce Gari, Onyango Ochieng, Shaban Omar, and Solomon Muingi.

(Edited by Tabnacha O)

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