An independent audit of Kenya’s voter registration rolls shows a number of discrepancies, including 2.9 million voters with some type of inaccuracy in their records, with the recommendation that thousands of names of now-deceased persons need to be removed by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) of Kenya.
Comprehensive data from the KPMG auditing firm published Friday in the Daily Nation focused on the irregularities that could have impact if the results of the fast-approaching August elections are close.
In 2013, the margin between incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta and the Jubilee party, and Raila Odinga – the National Super Alliance (NASA) opposition candidate he faces again – was significant but a runoff was narrowly avoided by just 8,000 votes.
The 2007 contest was marred by electoral violence driven in part by voting irregularities that included the charge that ballots were cast in the name of deceased voters. In March, Kenyatta publicly blamed Odinga for the violence that led to more than 1,000 deaths, the displacement of a half million people and an International Criminal Court (ICC) investigation of both Kenyatta and his deputy, William Ruto.
The KPMG audit was completed in keeping with election laws passed in 2016, although it was challenged unsuccessfully by the political opposition earlier this year. The firm said its work was done with Kenya’s history and a sensitivity to mistrust over the electoral process in mind. That includes the findings of the Kriegler Commission report, which detailed the serious shortcomings of the 2007 process.
In April, KPMG noted that the audit was being conducted “against a backdrop of mistrust and mischief,” particularly where the register of voters was concerned. “The audit is therefore expected to build public trust in the Register, and inspire confidence that the Register can provide a foundation for credible, free, fair and peaceful elections,” the company said.
The IEBC said it has accepted the report and will formally submit it to Kenya’s parliament, while noting that KPMG attributes most of the discrepancies to data entry errors.
For details about the audit methodology, see this link.