Kenya Election: Group to tabulate parallel poll results

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The Elections Observation Group (Elog) on Monday announced that it would deploy 7,000 data collectors around the country on the election day to tabulate parallel results for the poll.

Elog said that the data collectors will be sent to selected polling stations as a way of determining the quality of the polls and the credibility of the results the electoral commission would give.

Elog Steering Committee Member Peter Alingo told reporters in Nairobi that the observers assigned this job would be “non-partisan” and would be required to act within the law in the collection of information.

“We will not ask for voter’s opinions, but will be based on direct observations on the goings at polling stations,” he said.

“This (information) will be important to help remove any uncertainties by providing validation to the results given by the IEBC,” he added.

Elog which brings together religious, civil society and other NGOs said it would use this system called Parallel Voter Tabulation (PVT) as a research tool to check results from selected polling stations.

The stations would be picked using a random selection that would consider regions.

Here, observers would also examine the voting behaviour such as security to voters at polling stations, time each voter takes in a polling booth, professionalism of polling clerks as well as opening and closing of polling stations.

They would also check whether the IEBC has delivered all the required material, behaviour of party agents, turnout of voters and the results announced by the polling officials at the station.

In all these, Elog said the team would be required to send updates via mobile phone to a data centre in Nairobi to allow for the organisation to either warn of malpractices or give suggestions on how to correct voting irregularities.

“The PVT allows observers to make specific actionable recommendations for improving in future. Observers will be required to give real-time reports for analysis,” added Mr Alingo.

“Our samples would be representative, accurate and unbiased,” said Rev Jane Ogot, the Chair of the Institute for Education and Democracy and a member of the Committee.

In 2010, Elog projected that the YES side would win the Constitution referendum by 68.8 per cent of the votes cast.

The now defunct Interim Independent Electoral Commission (IIEC) announced 68.6 per cent.

However, the Observers said this kind of tabulation would be different from opinion polls because it would actually give projections based on votes announced at polling stations, not how voters say they will vote.

“PVT will measure the votes cast and indicate whether the data should be trusted, based on information about voting and counting of the votes,” said Elog Chairman Kennedy Masime.

“This information will be specific and can be actionable for improving the process next time” he added.

But Elog was quick to warn that it would not be announcing results, a task only IEBC is mandated to perform.

While they will be tabulating results from the polling stations, the Observers said they would be in constant consultation with the Commission before releasing their verdict.

“We foresee a situation where if the elections are well managed, then there will be no fundamental differences with IEBC. But in the event that there is, then we would consult with the Commission,” Elog said in a joint statement.

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Anthony-Claret Ifeanyi Onwutalobi

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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