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Last Updated: Thursday, 27 December 2007, 17:16 GMT
Kenya at the polls: Reporters' log
Kenyans wait in line to cast their vote at a local polling station in Magadi, 27 December 2007

Voters in Kenya have been choosing a president and parliamentarians, in what pollsters said would be one of the most closely contested elections in the country's history.

Polls officially closed at 1400 GMT.

BBC reporters across the country sent their observations on election day.

Wanyama wa Chebusiri : Nyeri, Central Province : 1656 GMT

I have been driving around Nyeri's polling stations and President Mwai Kibaki has a head start at all counts.

Electoral officials and party agents look exhausted
Muliro Telewa, Mwingi

At one polling station he had 200 votes to one cast for his main challenger Raila Odinga.

Voters here at the Municipal Hall polling station are anxiously keeping vigil on the count.

They do not want to go home to sleep as there have been concerns here about recent opinion polls putting Mr Odinga ahead of the president.

Muliro Telewa : Mwingi, Eastern Province : 1621 GMT

The counting at this polling station in Mwingi Primary School is being done by gas lamps as there is no electricity.

The pressure is starting to tell on the faces of electoral officials and party agents who look exhausted.

But the atmosphere is not tense and most voters have gone home to await the results.

After counting is finished here, the ballot boxes will be sent to Mwingi Boys High School for further tallying.

Uduak Amimo : Nairobi : 1510 GMT

Nairobi is pretty much deserted now. As it's a public holiday most people went home after voting and are now glued to television and radio for up-to-the minute updates on the polls.

Electoral officers start counting at a local polling station in Nairobi
Voting is under way across the country

I am at the national tallying centre at Nairobi's Kenyatta International Conference Centre, where security is tight.

The authorities have cordoned off all the roads leading here to prevent the public from coming in, and the paramilitary General Service Unit have ring-fenced the area.

An Electoral Commissioner observer has told me they reckon there has been a 70% turnout nationwide and that parliamentary and civic results will start to come out around midnight (2100 GMT).

Josphat Makori : Kibera, Nairobi : 1508 GMT

The Electoral Commission has extended voting by two hours until 1900 local time (1600 GMT) for Langata constituency here in Kibera after the chaos of this morning.

But once voting started it has been swift and calm - it is unlikely that the Old Kibera Primary School where the Orange Democratic Movement's Raila Odinga eventually cast his ballot will need the full extra two hours.

Odiambo Joseph: Mombasa, Coastal Province : 1445 GMT

The sun is setting in here along the coast, where most polling stations closed on time 45 minutes ago, although one or two with long queues have remained open.

Turnout has been massive - I have never seen anything like it before.

The long wait

Chief EU election observer Alexander Graf Lambsdorff has just praised voting in the province as incident free.

There were one or two hic-ups in the morning, when there was confusion about queuing etiquette.

Later on officials managed to get across the message that voters should line up according to their surnames.

Now voters - mainly young men - are camping outside polling centres to wait for the results.

Abraham Odeke : Teso, Western Province : 1232 GMT

In Teso district polling stations opened very early attracting long queues and police have reported no serious incidents.

People in the queues are very hungry - vendors have tended to stay away in case of trouble
Josphat Makori, Kibera

But at the Cotton Store polling station a few metres from River Malaba, which forms the natural boundary between Kenya and Uganda, I witnessed the arrest of one drunken man who attempted to disrupt voting.

In the densely populated areas of Amukura, Angurai, Amagoro, and Chakol some voters said they were disappointed at first that polling booths did not have pens.

"The Electoral Commission of Kenya should have asked us to carry our own pens for conducting the polling quickly," Said Virgil Osikol, a voter in Asuret told me.

"Now we have found ourselves spending more time here waiting for the official's pens for marking the ballots."

Bashkash Jugosodaay : Garissa, North Eastern Province : 1149 GMT

Bad roads and broken down vehicles delayed voting in some remote areas of North Eastern Province's Wajir district.

A woman votes in Garissa, north-eastern Kenya (Picture: BBC's Bashkash Jugosodaay)
There were complaints in Garissa about the time it took to vote

The election materials eventually turned up and voting began at about 1100 local time (0800 GMT) in most areas.

A crash last night on the Rhamu to Elwak road also held up proceedings. An electoral official died in the accident after the car rolled over several times and the other rescued passengers were taken to Mandera hospital.

There was bad news in Mandera town too, where an old man suffering from hypertension collapsed after several hours in a queue at a Bulla Mpya primary school and was pronounced dead on the scene.

It is very hot here - probably between 35C to 37C - and hawkers are taking advantage of the shop closures to sell water, biscuits and sweets to those in the queues, many of whom skipped breakfast to vote.

There are a lot of complaints about the disorganisation of the voters' roll, as it's not easy to find your name.

It takes about 15 minutes to vote once you reach the front of the queue.

I myself was able to vote without queuing as I have a press card, but the process took about 20 minutes. It was only at the sixth place I tried that I eventually found my name.

But this has not dampened people's enthusiasm to vote - turnout seems high and people are still making their way to polling stations.

Wanyama wa Chebusiri : Nyeri, Central Province : 1125 GMT

I have just returned from the polling station at Munaini Primary School, where I witnessed a calm and confident President Mwai Kibaki cast his vote.

President Mwai Kibaki (l) casts his vote on 27 December 2007
Mr Kibaki and calm and confident as he cast his vote

Accompanied by the first family, he told hundreds of his cheering supporters that he was sure that Kenyans would give him the mandate to rule for another term.

This is Mr Kibaki's political heartland and the queues are long - it is the highest turnout I have seen.

People are still making their way to polling stations. After voting, they gather in groups to analyse the possible outcome.

Most shops are closed, as everyone feels the importance of casting their ballot.

Muliro Telewa : Mwingi, Eastern Province : 1025 GMT

On the hot and dusty streets of this town you can see people either wandering to or from polling stations - the purple ink mark on their left-hand little finger the tell-tale sign of whether they have voted.

An old Kenyan woman walks past a ballot box at a polling station in Nyeri, 27 December 2007
In some areas, the elderly have been allowed to vote first

Opposition ODM-Kenya's Kalonzo Musyoka voted as expected at 1100 local time (0800 GMT) at Tsiekuru Primary School, which he attended as a child.

Afterwards he said that would be the first person to accept defeat if he loses in a "free and fair election".

If it was not, he said he would take his battle to court and would not ask people to demonstrate as there was so much tension and he feared bloodshed.

He also expressed shock at the news that his rival Raila Odinga of the Orange Democratic Movement had been left off the voters' register.

Vendors at Mwingi Primary School are doing a brisk trade.

They have lit fires to make food and sell tea to those queuing and for the electoral staff.

Josphat Makori : Kibera, Nairobi : 1018 GMT

The Orange Democratic Movement's presidential candidate Raila Odinga voted here at Old Kibera Primary School not long ago - he received an ecstatic reception.

His name was one of those missing off the list.

After voting, he told his supporters that the mix-up with the voters' roll in Langata constituency was part of the scheme to scupper his road to the presidency.

A president must be an MP to take office.

He said that most of those missing from the list had names beginning with A or O - common among Mr Odinga's Luo people.

There are some policemen about but there they are keeping a low profile so as not to intimidate people.

And in line with electoral rules, they are unarmed.

People in the queues are very hungry - vendors have tended to stay away in case of trouble, although there are some selling ice creams.

The lines are moving, but some who have been queuing since early this morning have given up and gone home.

Josphat Makori : Kibera, Nairobi : 0922 GMT

Voting has at last started at Old Kibera Primary School although it is estimated that half of the some 100,000 people registered to vote here are not on the voters' register.

Voters at Old Kibera Primary School try to force their way into a classroom to vote
Earlier there was chaos at Old Kibera Primary School

The Electoral Commission has said it is prepared to bend the rules for this polling station.

If a person's name does not appear on the voters' role, they can still vote if they produce their national identity card and voter's card.

Officials are writing down their names and both of the numbers.

But I am standing amidst a rowdy crowd who are unhappy with the situation.

They say that they want to vote the official way and they fear this will be a loop-hole for vote rigging.

Raila Odinga of the Orange Democratic Movement is one of those whose name is missing.

He is expected here soon to cast his ballot.

Noel Mwakugu : Kakamega, Western Province : 0851 GMT

I am in the Sabatia constituency - home to Musalia Mudavadi, running mate of the Orange Democratic Movement's Raila Odinga.

Most night clubs and pubs remained closed to allow many voters remain sober ahead of polling day
Noel Mwakugu, Kibera

As we were driving through the town, people shouted ODM slogans at us.

Here at Mululu Primary School there are no queues as most people have voted.

The presiding officer has just told me that queues formed from 0500 local time (0200 GMT) and 250 voters out of the 319 registered at this polling station have voted.

Those who have just cast their ballots are wandering home through the streets under umbrellas to shade themselves from the sun.

At the main Chanakanga trading centre, shops are closed.

John Nene : Nakuru, Rift Valley : 0816 GMT

I am driving in my car between polling stations. The town is quiet as all the shops are closed and people are taking voting seriously.

The queues are very long - and after initial delays, the lines are moving and the mood is patient.

Police on duty in Kibera, 27 December 2007

It's not too hot - so it's perfect weather for queuing, and people are being considerate to elderly and women with young children, giving them priority.

This is a stronghold of President Mwai Kibaki, but I also spoke to some opposition Orange Democratic Movement supporters in the queues.

Electoral officials have told me that elsewhere in the Rift Valley Province there have been some voting problems.

Some areas have not been sent enough presidential ballot papers and in Chenaner and Mukeu, voting has not started as local election ballots have not arrived.

Officials say mobile polling stations have been set up for the more than 200,000 people displaced in communal violence before the elections in Kuresoi, 70km from Nakuru.

Adam Mynott : Nairobi : 0806 GMT

Voting in Westlands Primary School has been vigorous and non-stop - the queue is long it goes round the corner and into the street for about one kilometre.

Ruth Nesoba : Kibera, Nairobi : 0648 GMT

Presidential candidate Raila Odinga has just arrived at this polling station at Old Kibera Primary School where voting has yet to start.

He is being escorted by police officers, the cheering is loud and the atmosphere charged.

Odiambo Joseph : Mombasa, Coastal Province : 0636 GMT

Voting started on time here and there are long queues - but people are unhappy about the slow process.

Ruth Nesoba : Kibera, Nairobi : 0634 GMT

Voters in Kisumu (Picture: BBC's Noel Mwakugu)
Voting has been good humoured in Kisumu

The situation here at Old Kibera Primary School is going from bad to worse.

Voting still has not started three and a half hours after the polls should have opened and officials seem to have abandoned their duties.

People are agitated and shouting - and some are trying to jump through the windows at Old Kibera Primary School.

Karen Allen : Kibera : 0609 GMT

Hundreds of people are queuing here at Olympic Primary School in Kibera, which is the backyard for one of the main presidential candidates, Raila Odinga, where he is also defending a parliamentary seat.

I can see people shaking their fists
Ruth Nesoba, Kibera

There are separate lines for men and women and the process is slow.

Despite this, the mood is upbeat.

Election observers are here and security is tight. Occasionally a whistle is blown to alert officials if someone is trying to push into a line.

Noel Mwakugu : Kisumu, Nyanza Province : 0608 GMT

Samuel Oyugi, a second-time voter here at Manyatta Primary School has just come up to tell me that he has seen some of the ballot papers marked with ink.

He is now going around the queues of voters warning them to check their ballots and reject them if marked and demand clean ones.

"If they accept the ballots could be dismissed as spoilt and deny our leader Raila Odinga victory," he is saying.

Uduak Amimo : Nairobi : 0541 GMT

Voting is in full swing - it's been peaceful and calm.

One of the country's comedians, Walter Mongare, is at this polling centre at Westlands Primary School dressed in full character as Nyambane, a country bumpkin - urging people to vote.

Noel Mwakugu : Kisumu, Nyanza Province : 0539 GMT

The situation since early this morning has been calm in Kisumu despite yesterday's police killings.

Here at the polling station at Manyatta Primary School the turnout is massive - I can see the line going right across the football pitch.

And some who have cast their vote are gathering outside the school to wait for results.

Ruth Nesoba : Kibera, Nairobi : 0536 GMT

Voting has not started here and tempers are running high.

Electoral officials say it's a problem of logistics.

I am tired but my fatigue is nothing compared to my duty today
Voter Derick Lwugi, Chamakanga

They have not enough election materials and ballot papers and boxes are missing.

People have been banging on doors and I can see people shaking their fists.

They are complaining because some have been queuing since 0300 (0000 GMT) - and the queues are getting very long.

Noel Mwakugu : Kisumu, Nyanza Province : 0530 GMT

Many polling stations have been jammed by eager voters many of whom are first timers.

An irate mob burns a tyre in the middle of a road in Homa Bay in Nyanza Province
There was violence on Boxing Day in Nyanza Province

Despite the Christmas mood in the air most night clubs and pubs remained closed to allow many voters remain sober ahead of polling day as a manager at Mon Amie restaurant told me when I went to get me dinner as they were closing shop.

Earlier some politicians in the rural parts of Kisumu city were allegedly offering free local brew to youth in the aim to keep them drunk possibly to keep them off the polling stations but most offers were rejected am told.

Muliro Telewa : Mwingi, Eastern Province : 0442 GMT

This is the home town of Kalonzo Musyoka of the ODM-Kenya party.

It has been peaceful here during the campaign - and a number of people are gathering to vote here at Mwingi Primary School.

There is a lot of excitement as they want to see Mr Musyoka cast his vote - he is expected here at 1100 local time (0800 GMT).

Uduak Amimo : Nairobi : 0434 GMT

Voting started here at Westlands Primary School with a whimper, despite the fact that people were queuing from as early at 0500 (0200 GMT).

There was chaos as officials tried to find the key to open the school gates.

Voting is now under way after the gates were opened 20 minutes late.

The classrooms have been turned into polling stations - there are 17 where some 13,000 voters are registered.

Some voters have complained that it has been difficult to find out where to vote, as names on the lists are not in alphabetical order.

Westlands, in the west of the capital city, is a potential flashpoint for violence, but it is calm and there is a police presence.

Noel Mwakugu : Kisumu, Nyanza Province : 0336 GMT

It is calm here in this lakeside city after yesterday's violence when at least three policemen were killed over allegations that a section of the security services were planning to rig the elections.

Polls opened on time and I can see a long line of eager voters right down the street in front of the Aga Khan Social Hall in the Kisumu East constituency, where 200,000 voters are registered.

Kisumu is a stronghold of the presidential contender Raila Odinga's Orange Democratic Movement.

Many voters have been chanting slogans since early this morning - some were here as early as 0430 local time (0130 GMT).

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