Results Verification Statement on the
Anambra 2017 Gubernatorial Election
Ladies and Gentlemen, it gives us great pleasure to welcome you to the Youth Initiative for Advocacy, Growth & Advancement (YIAGA) WatchingTheVote (WTV) Results Verification Statement for the 2017 governorship election in Anambra. This press briefing is the fourth in series hosted by YIAGA WTV for the 2017 Anambra governorship election. This briefing covers the accuracy of the official results as announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
On the eve of election day, YIAGA raised awareness of three critical issues: the need for adequate and professional security across the state and particularly in “black spots”; the need for polling officials to ensure official results are publicly posted at all polling units using INEC FORM EC 60E; and for INEC to provide access to observers, political parties, and the media to all collations centres at the ward, local government area (LGA), and state levels.
Yesterday, the people of Anambra state went to the polls to elect a governor that will lead the state for the next four years. This morning YIAGA issued a detailed PRELIMINARY statement on the conduct of accreditation, voting, and counting. This statement noted that most elements of the electoral process at polling units was generally conducted according to regulations, but highlighted concerns about: the late deployment of INEC staff and materials to polling units; the accreditation of one (1) in four (4) voters whose permanent voters card (PVC) was authenticated, but whose fingerprints could not be authenticated by the card reader; and secrecy of the ballot and vote buying and bribery.
Now, YIAGA is verifying the official results for the Anambra 2017 gubernatorial election as announced by INEC. YIAGA is able to provide independent verification of the results because WTV data is based on the parallel vote tabulation (PVT) methodology – the gold standard for citizen election observation. On Election Day, WTV deployed 500 stationary observers to a representative statistical sample of 250 polling units across all 21 LGAs of Anambra state. This enables YIAGA to provide timely and accurate information on the conduct of accreditation, voting, and counting as well as to independently verify the official results for the Anambra gubernatorial election as announced by INEC. The results verification statement is based on reports from 244 of 250 (98%) sampled polling units. YIAGA continues to receive reports from its observers on ground and will include this data in its final report.
YIAGA undertook WTV to provide the general public, governorship candidates, political parties, and INEC with independent information on the conduct of the election and to help ensure the official results for the Anambra gubernatorial election truly reflect the ballots cast at polling units. YIAGA is committed to confirming the official results if they reflect the ballots cast at polling units and exposing manipulation if the results are changed during the collation process.
#WatchingTheVote Election Day Observation
YIAGA’s WTV initiative employed the parallel vote tabulation (PVT) methodology for Election Day observation. This is the gold standard for citizen observation and provides accurate and timely information on the conduct of the accreditation, voting, and counting at polling units and is able to independently verify the accuracy of official election results. For the PVT, YIAGA deployed 500 trained and accredited stationary observers in teams of two to a representative statistical sample of 250 polling units across Anambra.
The sampled polling units were determined by established statistical principles to ensure the resulting information is representative of the state and unbiased. The sample includes polling units in every one of the 21 LGAs in Anambra. The number of sampled polling units in each LGA is based on the percentage of polling units and registered voters in the LGA. For example, Aguata LGA has 6.5% of all the polling units in Anambra (300 of 4,608) and 6.8% (17 of 250) of WTV’s sampled polling units in Aguata LGA.
All observers were carefully recruited according to established criteria to ensure that they are independent and non-partisan. All observers had to attend a thorough training on how to observe the process and send in observation reports via coded text messages using their mobile phones. All observers had to sign a pledge of neutrality and were given a code of conduct to which they must adhere when observing. Finally, all observers had to participate in two simulation exercises before election day to demonstrate that they were fully prepared to observe.
YIAGA’s WTV observers witnessed the entire process on Election Day. They deployed to polling units at 7:00am and observed setup, accreditation, voting, and counting. Every stationary observer sent in coded text messages containing their reports to YIAGA’s data centre located here at Finotel Hotel, Awka, Anambra. Throughout the day they sent in a total of ten text messages on the conduct of the election – including sending the official results for their assigned polling station as announced by the INEC officials.
For turnout, the vote for each candidate/political party and rejected votes, the PVT produces an estimated range based on the untainted polling unit results. The PVT produces an estimated range rather than a specific percentage because results are collected from a representative statistical sample of polling unit. This range is calculated using long established statistical formula. However, because the PVT is based on the untainted results from polling units, the official results must fall within the PVT’s estimated range for them to reflect the ballots cast at polling unit. Thus, if the official results fall within the PVT’s estimated ranges, then the official results accurately reflect the ballots cast at polling units. However, if the official results fall outside the PVT’s estimated ranges, then the official results were changed. YIAGA is committed to confirming the official results if they reflect the ballots cast at polling units and exposing manipulation if the results are changed during the collation process.
It is important to note that a PVT is not an exit poll. An exit poll involves asking voters for whom they voted. For the PVT no voters were asked how they voted. YIAGA WTV observed witnessed the entire election day processes of accreditation, voting, counting through the announcement and posting of official results of the polling unit. The figures they reported were the untainted official results for the polling unit as announced by the polling officials.
Based on reports from 98% (244 of 250) sampled polling units YIAGA’s statistical analysis shows that All Progressives Congress (APC) should receive between 20.4% and 24.6% of the vote, All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) should receive between 52.2% and 57.8% of the vote; Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) should receive between 15.8% and 19.2% of the vote; United Peoples Party (UPP) should receive between 1.1% and 2.3% of the vote while all other political parties should receive less than 1% of the vote.
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