Group to tabulate parallel results in Kenya's pollBy AGGREY MUTAMBO in Nairobi | Monday, February 18 2013 at 15:52
The Elections Observation Group (Elog) Monday announced that it would deploy 7,000 data collectors around Kenya 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 Independent Election and Boundaries Commission 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 the 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.
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Beyond the ballot