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2013 Elections – Number of Registered Voters in Kenya

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2013 Elections – Number of Registered Voters in Kenya. The total population of Kenya in 2009 was 38.6 million according to the 2009 Census and 39.4 million according to the 2008-9 Kenya Demographic Health Survey (KDHS). 25 million Kenyans are less than 25 years old (Kenya DHS 2008-9).

Using the demographic information from the 2008-9 KDHS the total possible number of registered voters in 2012 was be approximately 21.7 million; this excludes those age 14 and less in 2009. 47% (10.2 million) of the possible registered voters will be between 18 and 32 years old.

Registered voters between 1992 and 2010;

Year  – No. of Registered Voters
1992 – 7,956,354
1997 – 8,967,569
2002 – 10,813,016
2005  – 11,608,891 (Constitution Referendum)
2007 – 14,296,180
2010 – 12,616,627 (Constitution Referendum)

In 1992, 7,956,354 accounted for 76% of the voting age population (VAP) and in 2007, 14,296,180 was 71% VAP. (Technical Note on Voter Registration Annex 3.A Kriegler Report)

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If 65% of these 21.7 million possible voters register in the next month then there will be as many as 13.8 million registered voters, or as few as 11.5 million at the 2013 elections. The lower figure will be as a result of voter apathy,  increased insecurity in some parts of the country and the short registration period of 30 days.

Please note that I am assuming that that the new voter register in 2010 by the Interim Independent Electoral Commission (IIEC) was more accurate than the continuous process voter registration records developed between 1997 and 2007. I am also assuming that the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) will do an even better job using the bio-metric kits.

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It is surprising that in mid November 2012 there are few, if any, voter registration drives being conducted by candidates and parties especially targeted towards the youth.

Update [Nov 21] – I have reduced my forecast downwards, from 16.3 million assuming 75% of VAP register, and instead offered a range. As a result of the following factors below;

  • Possibility for higher voter apathy than experienced during the 2010 referendum, which was not as polarizing as a general election. This will be the first national election after the disputed 2007 elections which resulted in violence; the deaths of over 1,500 and displacement of over 500,000 Kenyans.
  • Increased insecurity currently affecting sections of Nairobi, Garissa, Samburu and Turkana and recently in Tana River, Kilifi, Lamu, Mombasa, and Kwale.
  • It is unlikely that the 30-day voter registration duration will be extended resulting in a shorter duration compared to the 45 days for the manual registration in 2010.

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