YIAGA AFRICA’s WatchingTheVote on Wednesday hosted a round table discussion with media team in Osun state to discuss its election observation deployment plan for the upcoming September 22nd Governorship Elections in the State.
During the Roundtable discussion held in Osogbo, WTV project director said, YIAGA AFRICA will deploy 500 stationary, 31 mobile citizen observers and 30 collation observers to a representative random sample of 250 polling units across all 30 local government areas (LGAs) of Osun. According Ms Mbamalu, the comprehensive observation of the September 2018 Osun State Election includes a systematic observation of voting and counting at a representative random sample of polling using the Parallel Vote Tabulation methodology and employing information and communication technologies (ICTs) to rapidly transmit observer reports.
She said ‘the sample is carefully constructed by a trained statistician to ensure every LGA is included proportionally in the sample. The number of sampled polling units for each LGA is therefore based on the percentage of polling units and registered voters in that LGA’
Also speaking at the Round Table discussion is Training Manager of the WTV Paul James who said, the PVT is an advanced Election Day observation methodology that uses well-established statistical principles and sophisticated information technology. “PVT provide the most timely and accurate information on the conduct of voting and counting, and is the only observation methodology that can independently verify the accuracy of official Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) election results”, he said
“The PVT allows YIAGA AFRICA #WatchingTheVote to present an accurate and comprehensive assessment of the Election Day processes, such as whether election officials follow proper procedures, the presence and behavior of party agents, secrecy of the vote, and transparency of the counting process”, James explained
According to James, YIAGA AFRICA will be providing independent information to voters, candidates, political parties, and INEC about whether the official results for the Osun Elections truly reflect the ballots cast at polling units and to.
“If INEC’s official results fall within YIAGA’s estimated range, then the public, political parties and candidates should have confidence that the official results reflect the ballots cast at polling units. If the official results do not reflect the ballots cast, #WatchingTheVote will expose it”, he said.
He however clarified that, #WatchingTheVote is not an exit poll saying no voter is asked for whom he/she voted as the initiative only uses the official results as announced and posted at polling units.
Pre-election Manger Safiya further highlighted that YIAGA AFRICA will also be observing the Pre-election environment to give early warning signals in order to prevent break down of law and order. According Bichi, this involve a comprehensive observation of the pre-election period beginning with voter registration, tracking of early warning signs, activities of INEC, political parties candidate nominations and rallies and other election stakeholders, using advanced observation methodologies.
‘YIAGA AFRICA #WatchingTheVote (WTV), is a citizen-led election observation initiative aimed at enhancing the integrity of elections using technology and evidence-based research methodology tools for election observation. WTV is designed to promote credible election and boost citizen’s confidence in the electoral process through the provision of citizen’s oversight on elections through the electoral cycle’, she concluded