Group hopes to predict elections outcome in August

A local elections monitoring body says it will predict the presidential election results with nearly pinpoint accuracy from the parallel vote tabulation exercise it will carry out during the vote counting.

The Elections Observation Group (ELOG), a consortium of Kenyan religious groups and civil society organisations, told a media briefing on Friday that it will deploy 1,700 parallel voter tabulation observers at selected polling stations in all 290 constituencies to record the vote counting in real time and transmit the results to its own tallying centre.

The group will also have constituency tallying centre observers and 5,700 general observers.

The polling stations selected will be representative of the national voting population, and will allow the observers to accurately project the actual election results to within a fraction of what will eventually be the outcome from the national count to be tabulated by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).

ELOG chairperson Regina Opondo, national coordinator Mulle Musau and colleagues explained that the parallel voter tabulation mechanism they will use for the August 8 elections has been used in past elections in Kenya and other counties in Africa with unerring accuracy.

In the 2013 presidential elections, for instance, ELOG projection gave Jubilee coalition candidate Uhuru Kenyatta 49.7 per cent of the vote, to 43.4 per cent for his main rival Raila Odinga of the then Cord alliance.

The final results announced by the IEBC gave Mr Kenyatta victory with 50.1 per cent of the vote, to 43.7 for Mr Odinga.

This, ELOG officials said, was within the margin of error provided for in the projection.

Crucially, however, just a few thousand extra votes within the projected range catapulted President Kenyatta above the crucial 50 per cent absolute majority required to avoid a run-off.

ELOG also projected national voter turnout of 85.6 per cent, against the 85.9 reported by IEBC.

The data thus stood as validation of the results that Mr Odinga unsuccessfully contested in the Supreme Court, the officials affirmed in response to a query from the press.

The officials clarified that ELOG is an independent, neutral and non-partisan observer group with no links to any of the election campaigns.

The officials explained that their work is not limited to observing only the vote counting, but the entire electoral process.

Their observers will have been in place before the voting stations open to monitor and relay in real time any pertinent observations.

They will be in position to report ballot stuffing or any other suspicious activity.

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