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Insufficient ballot papers, missing names ruin Jubilee repeat vote

Irate voters burning down Jubilee nomination materials at Rukenya Primary school after the ballot papers were brought past 11 am while those for MCA aspirants did not have pictures of the contenders.This is also the station where Kirinyaga Governor Joseph Ndathi was expected to vote but did not following the incident [PHOTO;MUNENE KAMAU/STANDARD].

Insufficient poll materials, missing aspirants’ names and unregistered voters rocked Jubilee Party’s repeat primaries.

In Kirinyaga County, the party headquarters scrambled a helicopter to airlift re-printed ballot papers as the name of one aspiring Member of the County Assembly had been omitted from a list of 19.

There was confusion on the voters’ register in use – some used the electoral commission’s 2013 roll, others used the party’s membership list. As a result, a number of supporters were turned away as their names were missing.

This prompted the party headquarters to direct poll officials to allow all adults with national ID cards to participate in the ongoing primaries.

Several polling stations in Konoin, Bomet East and Sotik in Bomet County also reported a severe shortage of ballot papers.

Ballot papers

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In Konoin, more than 20 polling centres in Embomos, Mogogosiek and Kimulot reported a shortage of Senate ballot papers, leading to an outcry from aspirants led by Bomet Speaker Geoffrey Kipngetich.

“More than 5,000 people have been locked out of voting, which is very unfair. We thought the party promised to correct it but it seems this was not done at every polling station,” said Mr Kipngetich.

Former Konoin MP Julius Kones, who is eyeing the governor’s nomination ticket, said the shortage was discouraging.

“We are taking up the matter with the party and will not accept such a mess. Party officials should own up,” said Mr Kones.

Voting was called off in Kapletundo ward after it emerged that eight aspirants’ names were missing from the ballot paper.

The ward’s returning officer was forced to call off the ward reps’ contest. However, voting for other positions continued.

National Assembly Deputy Speaker Joyce Laboso, who faced Kones for the party ticket, expressed confidence that she would triumph against Governor Isaac Ruto.

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The governor is defending his seat through his Chama Cha Mashinani party.

“We are happy with the process so far,” said Ms Laboso.

Earlier, a presiding officer was arrested in Merigi ward in Bomet and marked ballot papers confiscated.

And a presiding officer from the Matarmat polling station was locked up at Bomet Police Station.

Randomly marked

Agents sounded the alarm while inspecting ballot boxes before the polling station was opened to voters. Some of the papers for the governor’s seat were allegedly randomly marked for several candidates.

The marked papers are believed to be the same ones that were to be used last Friday, when the nominations aborted.

The ballot papers used yesterday bore a different colour from Friday’s.

In Baringo County, the exercise kicked off late but was peaceful and organised unlike the Friday poll.

A spot check in various polling stations at Eldama Ravine sub-county revealed that voters began streaming in as early as 6am.

Governor Benjamin Cheboi exuded confidence in retaining his seat on a Jubilee Party ticket.

“I know that I will be back to represent my county for the sake of prosperity and continuity,” he said.

However, his rival, Stanley Kiptis, insisted he would clinch the party ticket.

“There is always a winner and a loser but I am very hopeful of clinching this ticket and bringing transformation to the county,” Mr Kiptis said.

In Nandi and Elgeyo Marakwet counties, party supporters turned out in large numbers, with long queues building up in most of the polling centres.

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However, nomination materials arrived late in most centers and some supporters could not vote because their names were missing from the register.

At Tegat Primary School, hundreds of voters were locked out as electoral officials insisted on using the Jubilee Party membership list.

There were also missing ballot papers in five polling stations in Chesumei constituency in Nandi.

In Elgeyo Marakwet, polling was yet to take place in several centres by 8am following delays in the distribution of materials.

The exercise witnessed hitches at Iten Rural Centre in Keiyo North constituency, where parliamentary ballot papers were missing.

There were also cases of missing ballot papers for the governors’ contest in Mindililwo and Kamotony polling centres.

Manual registers

In some cases, Jubilee election officials in the county were forced to use a manual register after it emerged that thousands of voters risked being turned away.

However, the exercise went on smoothly in several centres, including insecurity-prone Kerio Valley.

There shall be no nominations for governor, senatorial and woman rep positions in the Jubilee Party primaries in Narok today as the three aspirants have no challengers.

Governor Samuel Tunai, Woman Rep Soipan Tuya and former Narok South MP Nkoidila ole Lankas will not be participating in the exercise after their challengers reportedly dropped out of the race in their favour.

Meanwhile, the nominations were postponed in Kisii and Nyamira counties for the second time, in what is being seen as a plan to have aspirants build consensus.

 

[Story by Gilbert Kimutai, Robert Kiplagat, Julius Chepkwony, Caroline Chebet, Erick Abuga, Michael Ollinga, Fred Kibor and Rael Jelimo] 

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