- YIAGA Africa's WatchingTheVote (WTV) is already preparing for the Osun state governorship election
- The team recently hosted a round table discussion with the media team in the state to discuss its election observation deployment plan for the election
- At the event, YIAGA Africa revealed that a total of 561 observers will be deployed for the polls
YIAGA Africa’s WatchingTheVote on Wednesday, August 1, hosted a round table discussion with media team in Osun state to discuss its election observation deployment plan for the upcoming September 22 governorship elections in the state.
During the round-table discussion held in Osogbo, the state capital, WTV project director, Ms Cynthia Mbamalu 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 of Osun state.
According to Mbamalu, the comprehensive observation of the September 2018 Osun state governorship 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.
Her words: ‘‘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 event, training manager of the WTV, Paul James 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.
“The PVT allows YIAGA Africa's #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,” he 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 governorship 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 Bichi 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 involves 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 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.
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YIAGA Africa under its WTV project had deployed 250 observers to sampled polling units at the just concluded Ekiti governorship election.
They also deployed 24 mobile observers in all the 16 local government areas of the state as collation observers during the exercise.
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