News / Africa

Kenyans Face Long Voting Lines

Masaai line up to vote in a general election outside an elementary school in Kumpa, Kenya, March 4, 2013.
Masaai line up to vote in a general election outside an elementary school in Kumpa, Kenya, March 4, 2013.
Andrew Green
Kenyans are standing in long lines to elect the country’s fourth president since independence. Voting has been mostly peaceful, so far, although there are reports of violence in the country’s coastal region.

Voters were patiently waiting in blocks-long lines for the polls to open this morning in Kibera, a Nairobi slum. They are among the more than 14 million people registered to vote in today’s national and local elections.

Bernard Onyango was at the front of the line at his polling station. He arrived at midnight so he could be one of the first to vote.

“We just wait patiently, because we don’t have another day," he said. "This is the only day.”

  • Some voters began lining up Sunday night at the Olympic primary school polling station in Kibera, Kenya, March 4, 2013. (R. Gogineni/VOA)
  • Thousands waited in the dark outside the Olympic primary school for the polls to open at 6 am Monday morning, March 4, 2013. (R. Gogineni/VOA)
  • Voters wait in line at the Kibera primary school where presidential candidate Raila Odinga voted, March 4, 2013. (R. Gogineni/VOA)
  • After waiting in line for more than six hours, voters complained about delays in opening the polls to an IEBC official at the Kibera Primary School, March 4, 2013. (R. Gogineni/VOA)
  • Election observers from all of Kenya's political parties lined the walls of each classroom, March 4, 2013. (R Gogineni/VOA)
  • An IEBC official inks a voter's finger after he cast his ballot, March 4, 2013. (R. Gogineni/ VOA)
  • Press surround candidate Raila Odinga as he voted at the Kibera Primary School, March 4, 2013. (R. Gogineni/VOA)
Voters will decide a hotly contested presidential contest. Surveys showed Prime Minister Raila Odinga and Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta locked in a tight race, ahead of six other candidates.

In the run-up to the election, candidates and public officials had called on Kenyans to maintain peace regardless of the outcome. But there are already reports of scattered violence. More than a dozen people - including several police officers - were killed in an early morning attack in a Kenyan coast town.

Related - Kenyans Vote Amid Threats of Violence

More than 1,000 people died in post-election violence following Kenya’s last presidential election, in 2007.

At Kibera Primary School, where Odinga voted, the atmosphere was calm. After casting his ballot, Odinga predicted he would win.

“Never before have Kenyans turned up in such large numbers to exercise their democratic right… They’re going to vote for change in these elections,” he said.

Odinga told the crowd this morning that if he does lose, he is willing to concede.

  • Lines form down the road to Mutomo Primary School as voters exercise patience during the Kenyan general elections of March 4, 2013. (J. Craig/VOA)
  • People reported standing in line for several hours before casting their vote in Kenya’s general elections in Gatundu, Kenya, March 4, 2013.” (J. Craigs/VOA)
  • Some voters arrived before 6:30 am and did not cast their ballots until after 11 am at Mutomo Primary School in Gatundu, Kenya, March 4, 2013 elections. (J.Craig/VOA)
  • Jubilee presidential candidate Uhuru Kenyatta votes in his home constituency of Gatundu, Kenya, March 4, 2013. (J. Craig/VOA)
  • Election officials check voters’ cards at the Mutomo Primary School, where voting for the Gatundu constituency took place, March 4, 2013. (J. Craig/VOA)
  • The line grows longer outside the Mutomo Primary School as crowds prepare to cast their ballots, Gatundu, Kenya, March 4, 2013. (J. Craig/VOA)
  • A father carries his daughter as he waits his turn to vote at the Mutomo Primary School, March 4, 2013. (J. Craig/VOA)
  • An election officer marks the finger of a man who cast his vote, Gatundu, Kenya, March 4, 2013. (J. Craig/VOA)

After casting his ballot in Gatundu, Kenyatta told supporters not to be discouraged by reports of violence or faulty biometric voter registration kits. The kits use fingerprints and facial features to identify voters. They are being used for the first time in Kenya for this election.

Asia Suleiman, an observer with the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission, says the kits are slowing the voting process.

“Even the time we are taking to vote, it’s a bit longer. It’s not easier. But the good thing is that I think there is a bit of credibility in it,” said Suleiman.

Voting is set to close at five this evening, but the election commission promised it would be extended as needed to accommodate everyone who was in line to vote by that time .

If no candidate emerges with a majority, the top two finishers will compete in a run-off in April.

You May Like

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the US are seeing gas prices dip below $3 a gallon More

Afghan Women's Soccer Team Building for the Future

A four-team female league was recently set up in Kabul; It will help identify players for the national team More

Video Koreas on Edge Amid Live-fire Drills

Pyongyang threatens nuclear test as joint US, S. Korean exercises show forces’ capabilities More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: NVO from: USA
March 04, 2013 10:07 AM
Long lines for another FRAUDULENT so-called, "vote".

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
New Skateboard Defies Gravityi
X
November 21, 2014 5:07 AM
A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid