Kenya’s 2022 presidential polls will have the highest number of voters in Kenya’s voting history as approximately 5.3 million more youths will have attained voting age by 2022.
An analysis of Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) 2019 population census data and the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission’s 2017 voters’ register gives a clue into the new numbers that will be the white card in the next elections.
The age brackets 15-19 were 5, 285, 706 in the 2019 census and their eligibility to vote will be confirmed in 2022. Specifics from the 2017 voter registry also indicate additional four million people eligible to vote in 2017 were not registered as voters but will be registered for 2022 polls.
Projections show that the voters’ register could grow to 29 million in 2022 considering a legion of new young voters; a huge increase from 19.6 million listed in 2017
Based on the new numbers, by 2022, Mt Kenya could have 5.9 million voters, Rift Valley 2.9 million adding to Nakuru’s 1.3 million votes it totals 10.1 million for the regions that have been instrumental in securing Jubilee’s victory in the last two elections. Nyanza, Western, and Coast could collectively have 9.1 million voters by 2022.
What will influence the votes?
The fallout in the National Super Alliance (Nasa) and candidates who would be on the ballot for example, whether Mr. Musalia Mudavadi will be in the race, and the perceived trips the DP has made in these opposition zones will influence vote split.
The three Ukambani counties of Machakos, Makueni, and Kitui, with an estimated 775,612 potential new voters, and a projected combined 2.3 million voters in 2022, could also influence the outcome of the contest, depending on the presidential candidates on the ballot for if Kalonzo or Machakos governor Alfred Mutua will run, then the region would not be a battleground given the country’s native voting patterns.
The Northern Kenya counties of Garissa, Wajir, Mandera, Marsabit and Isiolo which collectively have an estimated 742,473 potential new voters who could increase their combined tally to 1.4 million could be a battle ground region likely to swing the contest.
The fifth presidential race has created ridges in the ruling party with a faction allied to the President teaming up with the opposition to check the influence of the DP’s camp, the scramble for the numbers will intensify.
President Uhuru Kenyatta’s succession is gathering hot air signaling voter turnout in 2022 polls could heighten, with a populated number of new young voters who could tip the contest for a coalition backed by the President and Mr. Odinga against Deputy President William Ruto.