One still-unanswered question relating to the August 2017 Kenyan general elections - a frequent source of opposition concern and a pseudo-justification for NASA's fake results – is “whatever happened to the KIEMS electronic results that the IEBC had in their possession before the official results were announced?”.
It is mostly well-understood that the Form 34As, Bs and C constituted the formal election results, and that the parallel electronic transmission and display system - which was a legal requirement as a control check and verification mechanism - did not constitute the official record of the election. But we know that the vast majority of the KIEMS devices worked (because we saw the portal being updated moment-by-moment) so there was a central polling station-by-polling station record somewhere of the electronic transmissions (represented by the red “Results” below). That data has never been released (as an excel, pdf or anything else), though the display portal had something derived from it in a different format for several months.
Slightly oversimplified, this summarises the process as I understand it and highlights two issues in red:
James Orengo and other NASA figures have been asking for this transmission data for months, claiming that it would show a different set of numbers to those in the portal. I believe that this is correct, though not for the reason they give. Even without assuming malpractice, the portal began to be fed purely with electronic transmissions, but as the election continued and paper forms started streaming in, IEBC officials updated the portal with the official paper results and filled in missing stations which had never submitted an electronic return, which is why the total kept changing for several days.
But there was a record, somewhere, polling station by station, of what came in from the KIEMS kits. Why might it be the case that the IEBC can’t or won’t release this data? It would of course be incomplete, as some stations never got their KIEMS Kits working, or they failed part-way though, while others would have results different from the forms for reasons such as tired clerks mistyping, but that is surely no obstacle to release?
One reason could be that the data set is entirely different, and the portal was indeed rigged, as NASA claim. But this was always implausible because the election results were declared based on paper forms, not the portal results. The paper forms were produced by the 290 constituency returning officers. There would be no point in rigging the portal if the forms were different, as it would have no effect on the actual results and it would be obvious that it had been done. We repeatedly checked the paper forms against the portal during the election and they always matched very closely.
[As an aside, the Supreme Court instructed that access to various data be offered the NASA petitioners on 28 August, but for reasons known only to the Commission, some of the court-ordered requirements were not met. Perhaps surprisingly, given NASA's later "open the servers" campaign, the SC did not require the IEBC to give access to the actual electronic results transmissions, only to the locations of each KIEMS kit, log-in records to the portal and access to scanned and physical forms].
So, why not release it? Another possible reason might be that it would show just how often the KIEMS systems failed and officials went fully manual, which might allow observers to triangulate specific polling stations and then look for patterns in those stations of unusually high votes for one candidate. Or perhaps that some results were materially amended on the paper forms but correct electronically (though on a sample basis they have not been found by anyone in checks). But surely from the perspective of the IEBC's leadership's credibility, that is a reason to release it, not to hide it?
And there are not one but two missing data sets
The second data set is a record of the means by which voters voted in a particular polling station, containing in the electronic voter identification system (EVID) return for each polling station (marked in red as Statistics). That shows how many people were identified and how that process took place (but not of course how they voted).
In the October 2017 presidential rerun, which Odinga boycotted, the IEBC was willing to release a download from the electronic systems, which I got a chance to copy. This showed for each polling station by what means people had been identified before being allowed to vote. It looked like this:
Quite a bit of analysis was done on that data set in October-November 2017, looking for patterns as to why fingerprint voting was not universal and confirming exactly what Document and Alphanumeric search really meant. We were looking for evidence of mass voting by non-fingerprinted voters, which would suggest local officials allowed stuffing or topped up votes for their favoured candidate after polls closed. We concluded that the data set made sense in general, that there was prima facie evidence of malpractice in a very few constituencies, but no pattern of by-passing the EVID tool nationwide.
These were the numbers for the percentage of voters not identified using fingerprint authentication (by any one of the three possible methods) in October, by constituency nationwide:
As can be seen, the numbers are pretty steady and low outside Nyanza (where they were zero as no-one voted) and the old North-Eastern Province. A deep dive on North-Eastern concluded there was prima facia evidence of “top up voting” or other forms of stuffing in Eldas and Wajir West, while the results were inconclusive in Mandera North.[I have since discovered that the EU Observer Mission report found the same problem in Eldas. The EU also found several stations in Garissa where extra digits were added ton the forms, producing official results for Kenyatta several thousand votes larger than the electronic results]
Elsewhere in the country, though, where voting did occur despite the boycott, there was no pattern of large numbers bypassing the electronic systems – 97.2% of voters were eventually biometrically identified. In other words, the (very modest) pro-Kenyatta turnouts in October 2017 were plausible.
So, given it could be produced in October, why has IEBC (or OT-Morpho, the service provider) not released the same station by station analysis for August? This question was asked of an IEBC Commissioner and elicited the response: “We had requested for the data on the 8 August election but did not get it from Safran [OT Morpho].”
But is this true, or is it just a cover story because release would raise more questions that it would answer? OT Morpho (which has gone through several ownership changes in the last few years) is itself under some suspicion, particularly as it has since been disbarred by the World Bank for procurement corruption in Bangladesh.
Would release of the data show large-scale bypass of fingerprinting in certain constituencies, which might suggest top-up stuffing for Uhuru and the Jubilee candidates? Though it will probably change little now, it is still important for Kenyans to know the answer, because of the corrosive effect such allegations have on the legitimacy of the incumbent government.
If there is a logical explanation for withholding the data, it needs to be given. If there is not, the truth needs to be told and the file shared.
The Petition War Continues
National dialogue is lost, Uhuru announces an underwhelming politicised cabinet, Odinga insists on being sworn in as parallel president, none of his co-principals turn up, the (mostly imaginary) NRM is banned, the media are muzzled and minor politicians are arrested and charged with treason. Not Kenya’s best two weeks.
Meanwhile, the August 2017 election war carries on, not just in the debate over NASA’s bogus election results, but also in the petition courts. This post will look at where that battle stands and what we have learnt so far about the conduct of the August election.
Firstly, and most importantly, the procedural anomalies and issues which led the Supreme Court to annul the presidential election have not cascaded down to the Governors, Senators and MPs. Not a single member of the National Assembly or Governor has had their election annulled primarily as a result of issues with forms being unsigned, different paper being used, unstamped copies, different results being used electronically to the paper system or concerns about the display portal’s integrity. In fact, although they make references to it, judges appear to be disregarding the SC’s position as they make their judgements, with positions such as "The minor failures on Form 37A and 37B had no substantive effect on the outcome of the August 8 governorship election,” [Lady Justice Mary Kasango]
Judges are taking the view that specific allegations need to be made about malpractice in specific electoral areas to justify a review, and that adequate evidence of irregularities would lead to a recount of the affected areas, after which the matter would be settled, not to the election being annulled and a new poll (as the Supreme Court decided). And their focus has been almost entirely on the paper forms.
The only elected MP, Senator, Women’s Representative or Governor to have his or her election annulled so far has been the Wajir Jubilee Governor (Petition No.14 in Nairobi). As well as faking his degree papers, there were numerous IEBC issues including no records of assisted voting, ballot boxes reopened after sealing (to get the official results out) and extra lines written into the form 37C without obvious origins, as well as the wrong forms used and no available originals and Presiding Officers failure to sign forms.
That’s’ quite a vote of confidence in the IEBC’s operations. So far.
So what are the statistics saying? Beginning with the governors, there were originally 35 petitions raised by losing politician or voters against the results of the august elections:
Of those, five have been successfully withdrawn, four were dismissed on technicalities such as failure to pay the appropriate fees in time, and eight have been heard but dismissed. This includes the significant but expected victory of Alfred Mutua in Machakos today and the recent dismissal of the petition against Taita-Taveta Governor Samboja on the unusual grounds that he was already accused in criminal court of faking his university degree. One petition (Wajir) has been successful, and 17 are still running. In two cases (Marsabit and Mombasa), the courts refused to accept the petitioner’s withdrawal and have insisted the case continued nonetheless.
Of these 17, 6 are against the 26 remaining Jubilee governors and their allies and 11 against the 20 pro-NASA governors. NASA therefore still has more to lose from here on (though I doubt many of the petitions in their homelands will succeed, as the various recounts and scrutiny exercises across the nation have turned up virtually no malpractice and only minor tallying errors). Overall, I would not expect more than 2 or 3 more governors to fall to petitions (plus Samboja , if convicted).
Another week in the looking-glass world of Kenyan politics has left credibility damaged in every quarter. Amongst the confusion and lawbreaking by all parties of the last few days, I wanted to close out and revisit the aftermath of my NASA election postings of last week. Then maybe I can move on to current events.
The articles (mostly postings 4 and 5) went to a reasonably wide audience on 30 January - 2 February after they were picked up by some Twitter influencers, Africa Confidential, then by The Star and Kenyan news sites. 8,000 people visited this blog in four days.
With the interest and publicity, I expected a rebuttal from NASA somewhere, in some form, but so far I’ve seen nothing. All I’ve seen is the usual trolling abuse in the comments section of the newspapers, with ad hominem arguments such as:
[The US connection is that The Star wrongly described me as an American professor in their first edition].
There was modest feedback on my blog site itself, constructive and positive, for which I thank you. One respondent raised Mandera, pointing out that it was even worse than some of the ones I had done (I had focussed on smaller and marginal counties). So I did Mandera as well.
As you might by now guess, NASA’s Mandera numbers are also a shambles. Their summary makes no sense: It gives a 29% turnout, and bears no relationship to the detailed polling station number they attached. It’s as if - when cobbling this mess together - they put the numbers against the wrong county. Their own polling station file gives Uhuru 20,000 more votes and Raila 40,000 more than the summary, so it doesn’t’ even make sense as a fake to help Raila; it’s just wrong:
This gives us the following in comparison to IEBC’s results, which need themselves to be treated with care, as Mandera has been a safe Jubilee zone and possible “rotten borough” since the 2013 poll:
REGD UHURU RAILA TURNOUT
IEBC Presidential 175,642 112,456 17,984 77%
NASA summary 175,642 10,937 36,012 29%
NASA Detail 175,642 30,562 77,752 64%
Comparing NASA’s alleged polling station presidential numbers with the IEBC’s parliamentary and gubernatorial elections, we see the following (all numbers rounded):
REGD Jubilee+ NASA+ TURNOUT
IEBC Governor 176,000 135,000 0 78%
IEBC MPs 176,000 135,000 0 78%
IEBC Presidential 176,000 112,000 18,000 77%
NASA Pres. Detail 176,000 31,000 78,000 64%
“NASA+” and “Jubilee+” mean all candidates for those parties or alliances plus their openly avowed allies such as the EFP and KANU for Jubilee.
In fact, NASA had no candidate for the governorship or for the six constituency parliamentary seats or women’s representative at all (though they did have a senatorial aspirant). NASA was completely irrelevant in Mandera, as the contest was entirely between two pro-Jubilee factions. Given that, Odinga did well to get 18,000 votes there. The idea that 25,000 people voted for Jubilee candidates and then left without voting for anyone for President, and another 78,000 voted a Jubilee ticket and then Odinga is risible.
Again, NASA’s polling station file also shows obvious evidence of fakery, with turnouts close or over 100% in several stations, such:
9 MANDERA 37279 591652625 43 MANDERA EAST 213 NEBOI 28 MANDERA OPEN AIR MARKET 1041 9043021302801 MANDERA OPEN AIR MARKET 520 12 0 0 2 0 0 144 374
9 MANDERA 37297 825766069 43 MANDERA EAST 214 KHALALIO 44 BUR ABOR PRIMARY SCHOOL 270 9043021404401 BUR ABOR PRIMARY SCHOOL 270 2 0 0 0 0 0 71 196
9 MANDERA 37290 662810019 43 MANDERA EAST 214 KHALALIO 37 KARO PRIMARY SCHOOL 214 9043021403701 KARO PRIMARY SCHOOL 214 15 0 0 0 0 0 56 154
9 MANDERA 36972 202990442 39 MANDERA WEST 193 LAGSURE 16 NULL NULL 9039019301604 DARWED PRIMARY SCHOOL 627 10 0 0 0 0 10 42 578
9 MANDERA 37202 375024986 42 MANDERA SOUTH 209 ELWAK NORTH 37 ELGALA PRIMARY SCHOOL 1061 9042020903701 ELGALA PRIMARY SCHOOL 530 13 0 0 2 0 0 127 393
9 MANDERA 37167 467036697 42 MANDERA SOUTH 207 KUTULO 11 GOGOGESA SHALLOW WELLS 176 9042020701101 GOGOGESA SHALLOW WELLS 176 2 0 0 1 0 0 61 111
So, Mr Geoffrey Osotsi, the ANC and NASA IT expert who launched these figures, I am waiting to hear from you.
As a short addendum to yesterday's post, I was constructively challenged whether the NASA file I had been working on was the genuine one or some kind of fake or work in progress version. I had already cross-checked the summary against Osotsi's presentation but to be sure, I've now gone back to the NASA Facebook page here:
and extracted screenshots of the summary and of one of the pages for Narok that I was challenging yesterday, from the 408 pages they posted. They are identical. I post them here for you to reconfirm.
This is the summary from the PDF I was given and used:
Screenshot from NASA site today
The NASA image files are not easy to read, but it is visibly the same file.
This is one of the pages from the PDF for Narok I castigated yesterday:
And this is the same page extracted from the NASA website today:
Its very blurry, but recognisably the same page.
I've also been asked whether I am willing to share the underlying 17Mb PDF file. It is large, and since I got it from a friend, who got it from a friend, I wanted to be sure I wouldn't be causing anyone embarrassment before doing so. But in fact, The Elephant has already posted what is (on a sample basis) the same file.https://www.theelephant.info/documents/nasa-coalition-8th-august-election-results-presentation/
Thoughts on anything Kenya, mostly political.