The Electoral and Independent Borders Commission (IEBC) has released the final voter roster showing the regions that could be key in the upcoming general elections.
Rift Valley – 5.34M
Western – 2.2M
Central Kenya – 3.1M
Nyanza – 3.1M
Upper Eastern – 1.59M
Ukambani – 1.69M
Coast Region – 1.96M
North Eastern – 626,261
Counties in the Mount Kenya region and the Rift Valley carry the majority of the voting population in what appears to be a race that may end up being determined by the historic battlefields in the northern part of the country and parts of the South Rift.
The best presidential candidates toured several regions in an effort to get as many voters as possible to secure them a victory on 9 August. With official voter data now available, the campaigns will seek to direct voters more directly to 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, 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 follows a single unit with 2.41 million voters and 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 the three Ukambani counties contribute 1.69 million voters.
The upper eastern region comprising the Meru area, Marsabit, Isiolo and Embu counties has a total of 1.59 million voters, the majority of whom are in the Mount Kenya region.
The northeastern region of Garissa, Wajir and Mandera contributes the fewest voters, but it could be a draw in a tight match.
Further analysis shows that the ten counties of the Mount Kenya region, including Laikipia and Nakuru counties of the Rift Valley, bring 5.7 million registered voters. In the last two general elections, the region voted en bloc with an average of 93% for Uhuru Kenyatta in the August 2017 general election.
Six Rift Valley counties from both North and South Rift, namely 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 with an average of 87%.
The western five-county region, including Trans Nzoia County, has a total of 2.61 million voters. In 2017, the region voted predominantly for Raila Odinga then from the NASA coalition.
From the county’s point of view, Nairobi could be one of the key battlefields for this election. In the previous two general elections, Raila Odinga led President Kenyatta, albeit by a narrow margin.
Kiambu County follows in the list of the 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 the counties that have been tagged as battlefields in recent opinion polls that have historically also 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 published a split vote, has 238,000 voters.
For a presidential candidate to be declared the winner, he must first secure more than half of the valid votes and also at least 25% of the votes in each of at least 24 counties.
- The electoral register has 22.1 million voters in the counties, while the diaspora community has 10,443 registered voters. There are 7,483 voters in the country’s prison facilities.