Good morning, ladies and gentlemen,
The day is here. Kenyan citizens have the opportunity to exercise their most precious right as outlined in section 38 of our Constitution. As a professional electoral management body, we have a moral obligation to ensure a good voter experience and integrity of the voting process.
I am pleased to announce that the polling stations opened their doors to the public a few hours ago, and we are very encouraged by the turnout so far. It is my understanding that some Kenyans were already up and queuing at the polling stations hours before the doors were opened.
For those of you who are yet to leave your homes, we urge you to please go out and exercise your democratic right. On our part as IEBC, this is the time to prove our commitment to provide a free, fair and credible election. Let me take this opportunity to reassure every Kenyan that IEBC is committed to providing a free, fair and credible election and we will keep our promise to you.
We are happy to report that there are no major hitches reported from the 40,833 polling stations throughout the country apart from a few issues affecting some of the polling stations across the country, and we are addressing them accordingly.
Last night, in some parts of the country heavy downpours, hampered transport such as Turkana North, Baringo and Samburu Counties. We have used helicopters to respond to these emerging issues. This caused delays in some of the polling stations.
Nairobi has the highest number of registered voters and we are experiencing a few challenges. In Some polling stations in Embakasi East, Kasarani and Westlands we have experienced delayed opening. We have immediately replaced the returning officers in these three constituencies and deployed Commissioners to ensure efficient management of these locations.
We wish to assure you all that for the polling stations that opened late, we will compensate the time by extending the voting period by the same amount of hours that were lost before opening.
We are aware of reports that in some cases, the identification took longer than expected while some officers had challenges switching on the KIEMS kits. Our clerks have also been instructed to use alphanumeric identification, whereby they key in the voter ID number into the IEBC platform to confirm registration. We are also replacing some of the KIEMS kits.
We would like to reassure you that our officers have been deployed to resolve the technical issues. Some of the areas where we have deployed extra ICT support staff include Wajir, Eldas, Isiolo, Dadaab, Borabu, and Fafi.
We also want to urge party agents to work with presiding officers to address issues specific to the polling stations that they are observing. The returning officers are authorised and well equipped to address all issues affecting the polling stations.
We would also like to take this opportunity to urge all Kenyans to exercise calm and patience as we work towards providing you with a free, fair and credible election. The success of the process also requires your cooperation.
We thank all Kenyans for cooperating with our officers on the ground and for not making their work difficult. We also urge you to please use the IEBC dedicated lines for any questions or concerns. We have dedicated the following hotlines for any voter that has questions or is facing challenges at the polling station. You may call the toll free hotlines 1527, 1537, 1538, and 1539 to raise any concerns with our IEBC officers. Please note that these numbers are free of charge from any network.
Finally, ladies and gentlemen, we urge you to be patient and calm as the results start streaming in later in the day. We acknowledge the fact that you want to know if the person you voted for is the winner. However, we would urge you to restrain from speculation and await the final result to be announced. Stay tuned to your news channels as we will be sharing with you regular updates throughout the course of the day.
Independent Electoral & Boundaries Commission.