The story so far…NASA releases a set of data which they claim validates that they won the August 2017 Presidential election and on 26 Jan I am sent a 17 Mb PDF file which purports to be those results.
On first review, the detailed file looks superficially plausible, but the summary appears from two of two samples (Lamu and Tana River) to be a gross fake where someone has overtyped the real numbers (in the detailed attachment) with new numbers they made up, creating impossibly high turnouts which bear no relationship to their own source. In these counties, it seems NASA is trying to “rig” the polls in a crude and blatant way which can be disproved by anyone with a spreadsheet and a few hours, which if confirmed would surely be the end of whatever credibility NASA and Odinga had left.
I wondered initially if this file (which came without origin attribution) might be an incredibly clever ‘dirty tricks’ op by the Jubilee side, but then NASA released their results to the public, not as a PDF but as screenshots of that PDF, here.
From a few checks, the documents look the same. So I think NASA's credibility and claims can be assessed, and stand or fall, on the truthfulness of the PDF, which appears to be truly their work.
With another day to look at the file, I am confidential that the polling station file began as a genuine hack of the IEBC (which is of course illegal, something I won't consider further). Whilst anyone can fake anything with enough time and attention, this would be a huge project with 40,883 polling stations, and doing so by duplicating stations, or doubling numbers, would soon become visible because registered voters would be wrong or turnout too high. Looking at the PDF line by line for a particular county (Isiolo), I cross referenced polling stations and registered voters and I am satisfied with the tools at my disposal today that this was at some point A data set from the August 2017 elections.
It is not of course, the 2017 Presidential election results. As explained in many places including my column for The Elephant during June-September, the official results are never from the IEBC servers but from the Form 34As and Bs, paper records which should match the electronic results up to a point but which take precedence if they do not. There are lots of reasons why the electronic and paper systems might not match (without imputing foul play), including keying and transcription errors when typing numbers in to the EVID system, and polling stations where the electronic systems failed entirely or in part, and simple arithmetical errors by tired clerks counting up polling stations manually on the paper system. Another technical reason why the electronic system and the paper would not match is double entry of electronic data. Though it should not have been possible, the file NASA released has a few cases where the same results were posted twice for the same polling station (slightly differently). I don’t think they were included in the IEBC totals, but if you don't manually find and exclude them one would become quite confused..
However, I struggle to imagine a situation where the electronic transmission system shows a result in a polling station which has a much larger number of votes for a candidate than the final paper return, let alone that we see this for most of the polling stations in a County.
Unfortunately, turning to Isiolo, that is exactly what we find. My third deep dive into NASA’s results returned a completely different outcome. Again, I have (because I downloaded them painstakingly from the IEBC servers while they were online) the original Form 34 Bs for Isiolo North and Isiolo South. I expected - positing that the detailed polling stations file could be genuine - to see that NASA's electronic results would bear some relationship to the paper, but that was not the case.
This was NASA's summary for Isiolo: an 82% turnout (implausible) with a narrow victory for Raila by 3000 votes.
The IEBC official forms give an entry different result - a 5000 vote victory to Kenyatta over Raila with a lower 74% turnout. Again someone is cheating or faking their returns. Interestingly, one of the Official 34Bs is completely unsigned by agents, for a plausible reason, but certainly a warning sign.
On the other hand, there is an obvious flaw in the NASA polling station file too, which I missed on Friday. While the other candidates' names are written in a longer form, the name for the last two are shortened to "Uhuru" and "Raila" - see below
Someone has overtyped them before the PDF was created, which would also allow them to swap over the names, giving all Uhuru's votes to Raila and vice versa (though I don't think that happened, as Uhuru would then win Nyanza and Raila in Kiambu). But it means that this file too, even if it was once genuine, has been somehow played with.
In Isiolo's case, once you remove seven double entries for polling stations, which NASA had not spotted (which is why their turnouts were too high), NASA's summary and detail match approximately. So at least they didn't just make up the numbers completely as it seems they did in Tana River and Lamu:
REGD TOTAL UHURU RAILA
IEBC Form 34Bs 75,355 54370 26,746 18,931
NASA Summary Claim 73,358 61690 25,573 28,233
NASA Detail 75,338 TBD 24,326 26,824
Whether a Raila victory is plausible in Isiolo though, I very much doubt, because of the parliamentary and Gubernatorial results. In the governorship, pro-Uhuru candidates won 95% of the vote and the ODM candidate polled 2%. In Parliament, in Isiolo North pro-Jubilee candidates won 2/3 of the vote, ODM didn't even field a candidate and the NASA (Wiper) candidate got only 2%. In the tiny Isiolo South, the NASA ANC candidate got 21%, NASA Wiper 5% and pro-Jubilee candidates 60%. A Raila victory would be completely contrary to the alignment of the main candidates and the voting patterns in all the other contests.
But the differences between the electronic return (which may of course have been "rigged" by NASA) and the paper returns are still inexplicable. In Isiolo South, they are simply an entirely different data set. Even Kenyatta's number have been reduced and recorded for Dida in the form 34B:
I remember finding the strong performance of Dida odd in Isiolo South in August, as he isn't even from the area and polled virtually no votes elsewhere in the country. So, more to follow.
This is my working file for verification if anyone wishes to review.
Tana River is another small marginal county, where again the plausibility of the claimed NASA August 2017 Presidential results can be tested reasonably easily.
As with Lamu, I follow a three stage process – comparing the official and the alleged NASA results in the summary, looking at the alleged summary results in comparison with the other elections held on the same day, and then comparing the summary against the detail in the large attached file. The results are sadly the same. The validity of the detailed file is unknown, but the summary is certainly a fake.
The official IEBC Presidential results were based on the form 34Bs for the three constituencies in Tana River: Garsen, Galole and Bura. These were as below:
Again, there were arithmetical errors in the IEBC Bura and Garsen results, with the totals for all valid votes not adding up, but the differences were immaterial (200 votes or so). In summary, in the official IEBC results, 87,631 valid or invalid votes were cast (a 74% turnout), with Kenyatta receiving 40,155 (46%) and Odinga 45,067 (51%).
In the NASA Summary, 105,888 votes were cast, an 89% turnout, which would be unusually high for this area. Of these, 29,405 were for Uhuru (28%), 11,000 less. They claimed 75,347 for Raila (71%) a huge 30,000 votes more.
These results are again implausible when compared with the Parliamentary results (official) for the three constituencies, which showed a 76% turnout, 89,878 votes cast and for the gubernatorial elections, which showed a 76% turnout and 89,528 votes cast. The NASA result would require 13% of voters, 16,000 of them, to have voted for President and not for Parliament or the Governor (unless NASA claim that all the election results including the ones they won were rigged of course).
Comparing the NASA summary to the polling station detail they attached, which claims to be the original and truthful polling station results, we see again that the summary result is grossly falsified. The polling station results for the 307 polling stations added up for the two main candidates (possibly containing a few transcription errors) were completely different: 57,757 for Kenyatta and 24,851 for Odinga. I couldn’t believe this and rechecked it repeatedly, but the NASA detail results seem to show a huge Kenyatta win.
So, in summary:
Source Kenyatta Odinga
IEBC 40,155 45,067
NASA Detail 57,757 24,851
NASA summary 29,405 75,347
In conclusion, the NASA polling station data bears no relationship to the NASA summary (or the IEBC results), but it shows that Kenyatta decisively won the election there, while the NASA summary result has the situation reversed. Again, it seems, the summary is a clumsy fake.
I received earlier today from an old colleague a copy of the results NASA released, which purport to be the true election results for the presidency from the August contest, a 17 MB file with a summary and detailed results for every polling station. For the first time, if this file is a genuine NASA file (and not dirty tricks), this allows us to take a look at the basis behind NASA's claims, and to apply the same level of scrutiny to their allegations as has already been applied to the official IEBC results.
From a couple of hours review, on a sample basis I consider it likely that the summary page is a (clumsy) forgery.
Most obviously, the turnouts have been massively increased in these numbers, implausibly so in my opinion, as NASA claims turnouts of 97% and 98% across entire counties, which is simply impossible.
Picking one county, Lamu, chosen because it was small and marginal, we can drill down in more detail to understand the discrepancies.
The official presidential turnout for Lamu (East plus West) was 50,108 (71%) of which Kenyatta got 23,905 (48%) of the vote to Odinga’s 24,421 (49%)
(note that the Lamu East RO couldn't add up and the total valid votes of 13,524 is 243 less than it should have been)
Here, in NASA’s alleged summary Lamu has 55,970 votes cast (5000 more, an 82% turnout), of which Uhuru gets 21,553, two thousand less (38%) and Odinga 33,709 or 9000 more (60%):
A turnout of 80.2% would be very surprising in Lamu, when the parliamentary results had a 73% turnout, and the Governorship (which Jubilee won) 72%. For this to be true, it would require 10% of Lamu voters to only have voted for the presidency and not the other elections.
Also, I gritted my teeth and re-added the 167 individual polling station results for Raila and Uhuru in the NASA attachment. These give results of 22,120 for Uhuru, 27,016 for Raila, an entirely different result to that in NASA's summary. I rechecked and the number of polling stations is the same as in the official results. I may have made some minor typing mistakes, but the totals in the NASA attachment at polling station match neither those given by NASA in the summary nor the official results.
In other words, the results in the summary page appear not to be the total of the individual polling stations in Lamu but to be a clumsy fake, with at least 6000 votes added in the summary to Odinga's vote, which is contradicted by the file's own detailed attachment.
This is only a couple of hours work, and I am very happy to be disproved if someone would like to take up the challenge. A test of Tana River, also small, should allow verification of whether the issue I have seen is indeed (as a I suspect from the document's turnout claims) systemic
As recently predicted, we saw the first annulment of a governor today, when Jubilee Wajir Governor Mohamed Abdi Mohamud had his August 2017 election annulled.
There were several reasons given, the most important of which being that he did not have a degree, and was therefore ineligible even to contest. He declined to testify in his own defence during the hearing. Other grounds mentioned in the verbal judgement were extremely bad administrative procedures due to poor presiding officer training (e.g. submission of photocopies instead of originals, altered forms), plus - it appears - 17 fake polling stations (not yet confirmed if this was genuine or just a paperwork issue) plus the IEBC admitted that its staff had reopened ballot boxes in 12 polling stations after closure and sealing without a court order (for legitimate reasons probably, but a procedural violation nonetheless).
I expect that Mohamud will also be ineligible to stand in a rerun, meaning Jubilee will need to find a new candidate. Jubilee will probably win the rerun, but it isn't a certainty and depends on clan arithmetic and who their nominee will be.
I just finished a review of the ongoing gubernatorial petitions in Kenya.
In total, there were 35 petitions against the 47 country governor contests held in August 2017. Three of these 47 wins were petitioned against by two different petitioners. Overall therefore, 32/47 of the contests (68%) were petitioned. This is a pretty awful statistic. Either 2/3 of the elections were fraudulent/rigged or there is a vast amount of time and money being wasted on frivolous petitions (in my view, a consequence of the annulment of the first presidential poll on procedural grounds which opened the floodgates for late petitions).
Of the 37 cases, 17 were against Jubilee governors and their allies and 18 against pro-NASA governors. NASA therefore have more to lose, as they only won 18 governorships in 2017. In fact, 15/18 of the pro-NASA governors' wins were contested in court at least once.
So far, four cases have been withdrawn (all against Jubilee winners, interestingly). One has been dismissed (against an ODM winner) and four have failed on procedural issues or technicalities (filed too late, or missing key information) - two Jubilee, two NASA. 26 are ongoing. No gubernatorial election has yet been annulled, but it is early days. The first nullifications can be expected in January or February 2017.
The various allegations of malpractice have not been published in detail, but we know from the press about some of the claims made. In some cases, petitions claim errors in tallying and counting and simply ask for a recount, claiming that officials favoured the winner by fiddling the numbers during tallying. A few were basically copies of NASA’s successful presidential petition, alleging that the election results in the IEBC portal were not corroborated, or that the technology was not “simple, accurate and verifiable”. This leaves some NASA leaders in a difficult position, as they now must argue that the electoral process and technology used in August 2017 - which was the same for all the contests, and which they claimed was fundamentally flawed and rigged in the presidential election - was fine for their win. In a few cases there are new meaty, substantial allegations such as the claim that in Wajir, election officials disappeared with three KIEMS kits and used them to register fake results.
Three petitions, embarrassingly for the IEBC’s candidate vetting, allege that the governors’ academic qualifications (a degree from a recognised institution is required to be a governor) were invalid or simply faked. At least one incumbent governor already faces arrest for forgery.
NASA is by far the most exposed from here on, with 15 remaining cases against their 18 governors, while Jubilee has 11 remaining cases against their 29.
Note: this is collated from the various press reports and a periodically updated summary available on Kenya Law. There is one petition whose status is uncertain but I have assumed in the absence of confirmation that is it still running.