Raila Odinga and William Ruto in a tight presidential race
Kenya’s electoral body has restricted access to the national counting center to expedite the process of verifying presidential results.
Anyone who is not a party agent, election observer or part of the media must leave the center.
Verification of the results has been halted several times after complaints from supporters of the main candidates.
Confirmed results show former Prime Minister Raila Odinga has a slight advantage over Vice President William Ruto.
With 93 of the 292 declared constituencies, he holds 52% of the vote against 47% for Mr. Ruto.
However, provisional results compiled by the media from official data from 46,000 polling stations show a tight race between the two candidates. Approximately 14 million votes were cast, representing a turnout of 65%.
Click here to see the interactive BBC
The electoral commission has until next Tuesday to declare the winner.
“We need to make adjustments” to speed up the process of verifying the results, electoral body chief Wafula Chebukati said during his last press briefing on Saturday.
“It takes three to four hours” to process each of the results from a single constituency, he said. “Some of our returning officers have been sitting here for three days sitting in chairs, which is totally unacceptable.”
He said additional staff would help eliminate the remaining 124 poll workers, as well as give party agents copies of the remaining results forms to compare with those sent electronically.
Additional police were also called in.
“We believe this will speed up the process and we should be able to have returning officers sometime today,” Chebubati said.
Media tallies of results from more than 46,000 polling stations – published on the election commission’s website – caused confusion in the country because the tallies did not match.
Officials denied claims on social media that fake results were posted after the system hosting the results was hacked.
“Nothing like that happened. This is misinformation,” said the CEO of the electoral commission, Marjan Hussein Marjan.
What happens at the main counting center?
Based at a cultural center called Bomas in the capital, Nairobi, officials from the Independent Elections and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) are busy verifying the results.
Security has been tightened on site and access to the complex is restricted.
Election officials compare photographs of results forms from more than 46,000 polling stations across the country to physical forms brought to the center by officials from each of the 290 precincts.
This ensures that the results match.
Mr. Chebukati had accused agents from the main parties, who are assisting in the process, of turning a simple exercise into a “medico-legal” one.
How do Kenyans feel?
There is a sense of anxiety in the country as disputed elections in the past have led to violence or the cancellation of the whole process.
Following the 2007 vote, at least 1,200 people were killed and 600,000 fled their homes following allegations of stolen elections.
In 2017, huge logistical errors led the Supreme Court to overturn the result and order a rerun of the presidential ballot.
Officials are under pressure to get it right this time.
The country often shuts down during elections, activities across the country have slowed and schools remain closed until at least next week Monday. In Nairobi’s central business district, the usually bustling streets are mostly deserted.
Allegations of election rigging are as old as the country. It was part of the policy even before multiparty elections were reintroduced in the 1990s, but the pressure for free and fair elections has never waned.
After the violence following the 2007 elections, political parties and activists advocated using technology instead of physical registers, which could be easily manipulated, to verify voters.
This year’s election is the third time the technology has been used, but it has yet to deliver an election that has not been challenged in court.
When will we know the result?
It is not known when the final results will be known, but the electoral commission has intensified the verification of the results.
If there is a clear race leader, celebrations are likely to break out – but only the IEBC can make it official.
To win the presidential race in the first round, a candidate must:
Otherwise, the vote moves on to a second round which, by law, must take place before September 8.
Click here to see the interactive BBC