Doctored form 34As? The four ways the 2022 Presidential Election could have been rigged

Most Azimio supporters cannot believe that William Ruto won against a State-sponsored presidential candidate; a presidential candidate who hitherto was popular on his own. Raila Odinga has constantly been able to get 44% of the national vote. Hid did get 44% against Mwaki Kibai in 2007 and against Uhuru Kenyatta in 2013 and 2017. With Uhuru’s support, it was envisaged that he would easily sail through the 50% plus 1 vote threshold. But no, he only managed to increase his 44% to 48.85%, allowing William Ruto to beat him hands down in the just concluded 2022 Presidential Election.

William Ruto’s win has not been accepted by the Azimio supporters, with the majority of them believing that William Ruto rigged the election. I have opined over at my Facebook timeline that if indeed William Ruto managed to rig against the Deep State, The State, and the System, then the son of Sugoi truly deserves to be the president.  By the way, it is important to note that The System is the collection of government institutions and state employees that the State uses to carry out its mandate; whereas the Deep State is made up of some behind the scene billionaires who dictate the business deals the State engages in.

But let us assume that William Ruto indeed managed to rig the 2022 presidential election, how did he do it? These are the four ways he could have pulled the rug under Uhuru’s and Raila’s feet.

1. Ballot Stuffing

Ballot stuffing is one of the oldest ways to rig elections in Kenya and elsewhere. In the days when we did not have a voters’ register, this method was easy to do because no one knew the number of people who were expected to vote at any given polling station. When a voters’ register was introduced, the method became a little bit hard to execute but politicians still found a way to stuff ballot papers in their strongholds. Rigging through ballot stuffing was made harder with the introduction of electronic voters’ register.

In this era of electronic voters’ register, the only way one can rig through ballot stuffing is to find a way of interfering with the electronic gadget used for voter identification; which is KIEMS kit in the case of Kenya. Weeks before the 2022 Presidential Election, there were allegations that William Ruto had plans to penetrate the KIEMS kit with the help of IEBC staff. When the Venezuelans were arrested, this line of thought received much hype amongst Kenyans. The story was that the Venezuelans had magnetic stripes that were to be used to identify some ten thousand KIEMS kits for ten thousand polling stations scattered around the country. Once identified, those KIEMS kits were to be penetrated to enable the agents of William Ruto to add 200 voters in those polling stations, then the agents would similarly stuff ballot papers for the presidential seat (and possibly other elective seats) of equal number. The arrest of the Venezuelans appears to have allayed the fears that rigging could have happened this way.

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In as much as Kenya’s voter identification is electronic, the law allows for a complimentary register to be part of the election. This complimentary register was argued successfully by the Azimio team to be a manual register. A manual register allows someone who intends to stuff ballot boxes to simply cross out a number of names from the register, and then stuff an equal number of ballot papers into the ballot boxes. If there was ballot stuffing in the 2022 presidential election, then this was the method that was used.

2. Form 34As

Ballot stuffing by use of a manual register was the easiest way to rig the 2022 presidential election. If that method was blocked thanks to the presence of several agents, the media, the observers and possibly incorruptible IEBC officials at the polling stations, then the next cause of action would be to take control of form 34As.

There are two ways one can take control of form 34As. One way is to make sure that everyone in the polling station agrees with you on the numbers you have suggested to be entered in the forms. We have had allegations that there were some forms that were signed by agents while still blank so that someone could input whatever figures they deemed fit. The second way is to have original versions of the forms, enter your figures, forge agent signatures, and sneak in your version of the form for the presiding officer to scan, transmit electronically, and take to the constituency returning officer.

The question you may be having right now is, “how can someone obtain original versions of form 34As with all the embedded security features?” That’s simple, you make a deal with the person doing the printing. This means you’ll need to make a deal with the person who is to do the printing from the point where tendering is being done by IEBC. You can do this by approaching one of those bidding for the job – telling them that you will ensure they get the tender, but on the condition that they give you x number of copies of the forms with all security features and serial numbers intact. 3,000 copies would enable someone easily add half a million to one million votes for himself.

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3. Hacking

If ballot stuffing is blocked (or not as successful as anticipated), and switching form 34As with your original versions didn’t work, then you still have the option of hacking IEBC servers. This time hacking may not work to the extent of passing Supreme Court scrutiny but may work up to the point where you are declared President-Elect.

The hacking option would mean changing the figures in the photographed form 34As for the purposes of tallying, given that according to the law, the results announced at the polling stations and entered in form 34As are final. Whatever figures that may be entered in form 34Bs may not matter, at least at the point of declaring the president-elect.

Changing figures in form 34As isn’t hard. Look at image 1 below, those are not the original figures, but figures that I manipulated using photoshop. It took me roughly 2 minutes to do the manipulation, which means within 4 days (the number of days it took IEBC to verify the results), I could have changed about 300 forms. Assuming you need to change 3,000 forms, all you need to do is to give the task to some 10 or so individuals who are good with photoshop.

2022 presidential election: doctored form 34A
2022 presidential election: original form 34A

Changing the figures in form 34As is the first step, the next step is to replace the original version in the server with the changed version. This you can do if you have access to the server. Access to the server you can get either through hacking or by being given admin credentials. It is easy to obtain admin credentials by for example having the presidential returning officer in your pocket.

4. Returning Officer in your pocket

This is probably the easiest way to rig the election. When you have the returning officer in your pocket, and assuming the election is close enough where it can go either way, then the returning officer may play around with the numbers to give you the win. Playing around with the numbers is a simple thing to do because you only need to erroneously tally wrong data from select polling stations, for there will be no time for Kenyans to detect the polling stations from where the wrong data were obtained.

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We saw the difficulty with which the media houses tried to tally form 34As. The difficulty arose from the fact that each person doing their own tallying does so from random polling stations, and processing the forms at different paces. That means there will be no time when those doing the tallying can have similar figures, at least until they have all tallied all of the uploaded forms. If they arrive at different totals, the differences can still be explained as errors they committed as they did their own data entry. As I explained in this article, there were times when Citizen TV had Raila Odinga leading whereas NTV and KTN had William Ruto leading, then at some other point Citizen TV had Ruto leading as Raila Odinga led in NTV and KTN.

This then means that even right now with form 34C out, it will take several weeks/months before someone can verify that all the figures in form 34C are exactly the same figures in the uploaded form 34As. But as I have already explained above, it is very easy to change figures in form 34As using photoshop.

The best way to catch this type of mischief is to have your agents verify that the figures he has from their polling stations are exactly the same figures in the IEBC portal, and similarly, the same exact figures that have been input in form 34C. But we do understand that there were some polling stations without agents for some candidates.


In as much as this article demonstrates four possible ways the 2022 presidential election could have been rigged, I am not sure any of the aforementioned methods were used. I tend to believe that William Ruto won free and square, but I must wait for the Supreme Court proceedings in order to see if indeed any rigging took place.

Odipo Riaga
Managing Editor at KachTech Media
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