No sitting president has ever lost an election in the East African country of 48 million people.
Obama, whose father was born in Kenya, joined former South African president Thabo Mbeki - who is leading the African Union's monitoring of the election - and former U.S. secretary of state John Kerry in calling for a peaceful and untainted election.
"I feel good. I feel positive because we ran a positive campaign", Kenyatta said after casting his vote.
From first-time voters to those bent with age, from urbanites to ethnic Samburu warriors, thousands descended upon polling stations long before dawn to cast their ballots.
"(If) a mother comes with a baby we give them a notice that they are not supposed to give other mothers the same kid to come and get favours in the name of jumping the lines", she said. Mr Kenyatta is widely seen as the candidate of the Kikuyu people, the country's largest ethnic group, and Mr Odinga is associated with the Luo voting bloc, which has never produced a head of state.
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More than 19 million voters have registered to cast their vote in today's election which pits incumbent president Uhuru Kenyatta against an opposition coalition led by veteran politician Raila Odinga. In the capital Nairobi, the commission said it was replacing some of the elections management system kits, and instructed its officers to manually key in voter ID numbers to confirm registration.
Over 40,000 polling stations opened at 6 a.m. He urged Kenyans to safeguard the stability of the country.
More than 1,000 people were killed and 500,000 were displaced in months of chaos following the election, after Odinga - who had been defeated by the then-president Mwai Kibaki - claimed the vote had been rigged.
To win the election, a candidate must win 50% + 1 of the votes, as well as 25% in at least 24 of 47 counties. "God bless Kenya", Odinga said in a statement.
A win by opposition leader Raila Odinga in Kenya's election Tuesday would fulfill the deep yearning for change that the vast majority of Kenyans have repeatedly expressed.
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I think we are working, but we were working before that happened and try to find the solutions in different positions on the pitch".
If the front-runner falls short of those benchmarks, the two top contenders will contest a run-off vote.
Odinga, 72, has accused Kenyatta of attempting to rig this year's election.
Brian Bosire, a voter at the station said the problem started when the gate remained closed at the time voting was supposed to have started. "I am willing, myself, to accept the will of the people", he said. There is little to separate the two candidates in terms of economic policy although the US -educated Kenyatta is seen as more pro-business.
According to IEBC, about 51 per cent of the registered voters represents persons aged between 18 and 35. "It shows the enthusiasm people have to exercise their democratic right", John Mahama, former Ghanaian president and chief Commonwealth election observer, said.
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