Kenya election: Voters line up before dawn to cast ballots

Some 14.9 million Kenyans were registered to vote in the first general election since the adoption of the new constitution in August 2010.

By May Ondeng, World Vision Kenya
Published March 4, 2013 at 12:00am PST

Kenyans woke up as early as 3 a.m. to line up to vote in the first general election since the adoption of the new constitution in August 2010.

Millions of people waited for hours as long, winding queues lined the streets in many urban areas, where polling stations opened at 6 a.m.

Deadly outbreaks of violence were reported on the Kenyan coast, but voting passed off peacefully across most of the East African nation, according to Reuters.

‘I feel I am truly a Kenyan’

“Now that I have voted, I feel I am truly a Kenyan,” says Gabriel Nyangai, a staff member with World Vision in Kenya. “I came to vote for change. We need good leaders. That’s why I am here.”

With 14.9 million registered voters determined to cast their vote, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission directed presiding officers to allow all voters to cast their votes if they are within the polling areas before 5 p.m.

There are more than 22,600 international observers in Kenya to monitor the election.

The newly formed commission said it was confident that voting would run smoothly despite early hitches in getting materials, including ballot boxes and booths, to the nation’s 33,000 polling stations.

Tallying began immediately after the polls closed at 5 p.m. Results are expected to be relayed to the public within 48 hours.

Waiting for results

The winning presidential candidate must get more than 50 percent of the total votes cast and at least 25 percent of votes in half of the 47 counties. The crucial presidential results can only be announced by the commission chairman.

Voters were asked not to wear political party-branded clothing at the polling stations and to immediately go back to their homes after voting as they wait for the results, in hopes of avoiding the post-election conflict the country experienced in 2007.

Kenyan faithful spent Sunday praying for the elections at peace and prayer rallies across the country.

How you can help

Thank God for the opportunity for Kenyans to participate in the democratic process in their country. Pray for peace as the election results are released.

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