With Kenyans on the edge of their seats as leading media houses separately tally provisional results of the Presidential election, Royal Media Services (RMS) has offered insight into when it expects to have completed tallying of the results currently available on the public IEBC portal.
99.8% of all Forms 34 A, which contain the final Presidential election tally from each polling stations, have so far already been uploaded on the IEBC platform. There are a total of 46,229 polling stations.
RMS, whose platforms include Citizen TV and Radio Citizen as well as a slew of vernacular TV and radio stations, is among media houses that had set up their own tallying centres staffed with data clerks and analysts to keep track of the numbers.
Raila Odinga and William Ruto have been trading the lead in the RMS count in what is shaping up to be an extremely tight race. In a live mid-morning broadcast on Thursday, August 11, RMS disclosed when it expected to be done tallying the provisional results currently available.
Citizen TV’s Rashid Abdallah interviewed a data expert, identified as Esther, spearheading their tallying team who offered insight into their operations. She disclosed that they hoped to finish updating their platform with all the Forms 34 A data by the evening on Thursday, August 11.
“Tunaomba sana tumalize leo by jioni lakini inategemea forms venye zinakuja na speed zenye tunaeka nayo (We’re praying to finish by the evening tonight but it depends on how the forms are coming and how we’re adding the data),” she stated.
Rashid himself projected that the team would be done by 3 or 4 pm, praising the team for their commitment. He highlighted, however, that official results declaration could only be done by the IEBC once it had verified the forms.
A section of Kenyans have been confused by the different tallies being shared by different media houses. It can be explained by the fact that each of the media houses have been picking and counting different result forms from the portal – each using their own sequence. The raw data, however, is the same.
The situation has led to growing calls for media houses to partner to offer a joint tally in future elections. The Media Council of Kenya (MCK) had on August 10 announced an effort to have the media houses synchronise their results, but the effort seems to have fallen flat.
MCK acknowledged that the transmission of different results by media houses had implications on the anxiety levels among the general public.
“The Council appreciates this as a genuine uneasiness, given its implication on anxiety levels among the public…The Media Council is in consultation with Media Owners and Editors to find an urgent solution to this to ensure Kenyans receive synchronised results,” the body noted in a statement.