Based on Quick Count method, the Transition Monitoring Group, TMG, has described as accurate the released results by INEC of the Anambra State Gubernatorial Elections. Recall the results are not complete owing to incomplete polls that has been rescheduled. Below the complete text of the Press Conference held on November 19th, 2013…..
Distinguished guests, our respected partners, stakeholders, ladies and gentlemen of the media, on behalf of the Transition Monitoring Group (TMG) Quick Count Working Group I am delighted to welcome you to this press conference on our preliminary observation findings for the Anambra Gubernatorial Election held on Saturday November 16th, 2013.
The Independent National Election Commission (INEC) has now publicly announced official results for 4,400 of 4,608 of polling stations for the Anambra Gubernatorial Election. While a date has not yet been publicised, INEC has announced that supplemental voting for 208 polling units of which 160 are in Idemili North local government area (LGA).
Based on the Quick Count methodology, TMG can confidently verify that the collation process was done properly and the official results as announced by INEC on November 18th, 2013 accurately reflect the votes cast on Election Day at those polling stations which held elections.
The official INEC results for each candidate closely match TMG’s independent estimates – which are based on polling unit results collected from a representative random sample of polling units across all three senatorial districts and all 21 LGAs.
Only INEC declares official results as INEC is the constitutionally mandated body to conduct all aspects of elections. TMG does not announce official results. It provides independent verification of the official results as announced by INEC to enhance transparency and accountability in the electoral process.
As TMG has reported before, the process was not without serious shortcomings, including:
1. Late arrival of election materials to polling units;
2. No elections in five wards of Idemili North LGA – this issue is particularly worrisome as Idemili North is a party stronghold;
3. Individuals with voter’s cards were refused accreditation; Pa ge 2 4. Simultaneous accreditation and voting (i.e. individuals being allowed to accredit and vote after accreditation had closed) created the possibility of illegal voting; and
4. Simultaneous accreditation and voting (i.e. individuals being allowed to accredit and vote after accreditation had closed) created the possibility of illegal voting; and
5. A significant number of voters who left polling units after accreditation did not return to vote (thereby disenfranchising themselves).
These shortcomings undermine public confidence in the electoral process – especially since many of these issues are not new and have plagued past elections. For the 2015 elections to be credible, INEC must work in partnership with political parties, civic organizations, and government bodies to find practical solutions to these problems.
TMG is a member of the Global Network of Domestic Election Monitors (GNDEM) as well as the West African Election Observer Network (WAEON) and conducts all of its citizen observation efforts in accordance with the “Declaration of Global Principles for Nonpartisan Election Observation and Monitoring by Citizen Organisations”.
TMG’s innovative Quick Count observation effort is intended tohelp promote credible elections in Nigeria which are conducted in accordance with international and regional standards as well as the laws of our country by providing real time independent non-partisan information on the conduct of Election Day processes – setup of polling units, accreditation of voters, voting and count.
The Quick Count methodology involves deploying trained and accredited citizen observers in pairs to a representative random sample of polling units carefully selected by a trained statistician. Because reports are received from a representative sample of polling units, the findings can be extrapolated to all polling units (even thosewhich TMG did not deploy observers) based on long established statistical principles. Thus, the findings from the Quick Count hold for all 4,608 polling units in Anambra. The Quick Count methodology is the gold standard in citizen observation.
TMG’s Quick Count also takes advantage of the latest developments in information and communication technologies (ICTs). TMG has established a National Information Centre (NIC) in Abuja with a sophisticated database and text messaging system. To ensure real time information, TMG observers submit their reports via coded text messages using their mobile phones. Reports are received directly into a database and processed.
Deployment of Observers
TMG deployed a total of 633 observers for the Anambra Gubernatorial Election. Of these 33 were mobile supervisors who moved around the state and 600 were stationary assigned to a specific polling units. TMG stationary observers sent in more than 3,000 text messages with over 20,000 individual pieces of information about the conduct of the Election Day process.
Stationary observers were deployed in pairs to a representative random sample of 300 polling units across all three senatorial districts and all 21 local government areas Pa ge 3
(LGAs).To ensure the representativeness of the sample it was stratified by senatorial district and LGA. This means that the proportion of sampled polling units closely matches the proportion of all polling units in each senatorial district and in each LGA. For example Anambra North has 30.2% percent of all polling units (1,391 of 4,608) and 30.0% percent of the sampled polling stations are in Anambra North (180 of 300). Appendix I and II provide a detailed breakdown of the sampled polling stations by senatorial district and LGA.
Verification of Official INEC Results The Quick Count methodology allows for the independent verification of the official results as announced by INEC. Since citizen observers are deployed to a representative random sample across all three senatorial districts and 21 LGAs, the official results can be collected from those sampled polling units and added together to estimate the official INEC result. If the official result as announced by INEC falls within the margin of error of the Quick Count estimate it means that the official result announced by INEC accurately reflects the ballot cast at polling units. Table 1: Comparison of Official INEC Results from November 18th, 2013 with TMG Quick Count Estimates for Anambra Gubernatorial Election 2013 Political Party Quick Count Estimate Margin of Error Quick Count Estimate Range Official INEC Result Official INEC Result within Quick Count Estimate Range APC23.8%2.4%21.4% – 26.2%21.5%YesAPGA40.8%2.8%37.0% – 43.6%40.7%YesLP7.9%2.5%5.4% – 10.4%8.7%YesPDP21.4%2.2%19.2% – 23.6%22.1%YesOther 19 Parties2.9%0.5%2.4% – 3.4%3.2%YesRejected Ballots3.1%0.5%2.6% – 3.6%3.9%No