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What To Know about Kenya’s Polls

On August 9, 22.1 million registered Kenyans will go to the polls to elect the country’s fifth president and successor to the incumbent Uhuru Kenyatta. He is backing leading candidate Raila Odinga, his former archrival who is running for the presidency for a record fifth term. The other main challenger is Deputy President William Ruto, who served two terms with Kenyatta but has since fallen out with his boss after the latter’s reconciliation with Odinga. Even though the focus is mostly on the high-profile presidential contest, across the 47 counties, the electorate will also cast votes for county governors, parliament representatives and other lower-level positions. Ahead of Tuesday’s elections, registered voters in the diaspora are 10,444 – more than double the number (4,223) in the last cycle. The number of registered voters in prison is also 7,483, a 44 percent increase from 5,182 in the last elections. Another community that is set to vote in the elections are the Shonas, who have been stateless since arriving as missionaries from Zimbabwe in 1959, until two years ago when more than 1,000 officially became citizens. This is their first time voting in Kenya.