Group to fight election rigging in Anambra using PVT

A civil society organisation, Yiaga Africa has said it would deploy Parallel Vote Tabulation (PVT) to monitor the forthcoming governorship election in Anambra State, to fight rigging.

The head of the elections program for Yiaga Africa, Mr Paul James disclosed this in Awka, Anambra State capital during the Yiaga Africa’s Watching the Vote (WTV) media roundtable with journalists on the forthcoming governorship election.

He said there would be a comprehensive observation of the electoral process which includes the observation of the pre-election period environment.

“For the Election Day observation, Yiaga Africa’s Watching the Vote will be using an advanced election day observation methodology called the Parallel Vote Tabulation (PVT).

“The PVT is an election day observation methodology that leverages statistics and technology for the observation of the process of voting and counting and tallying of results.

“We are deploying 500 observers to 250 polling units in the state. Each polling unit will have two observers on the election day. With the results assembled from the sampled polling units, a citizen observer group can release projected estimates and verify the accuracy of results declared by the election management body.”

Using this methodology, observer reports are sent via SMS to a central database which enables WTV analyse and share timely findings on the conduct of the election in near real-time, James explained.

“The PVT allows Yiaga Africa’s WTV to present an accurate and comprehensive assessment of the election day processes, such as whether election officials comply to the guidelines for the conduct of elections, the presence of security agents, the presence and behaviour of party agents, the secrecy of the ballot and transparency of the counting process.

“It is the only observation methodology that can independently verify the accuracy of election day result as released by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) which is the body legally mandated to do so.”

He said a total of 548 observers will be working for the organisation on the Anambra election day, and that even though the group doesn’t announce election results as it is exclusive of the INEC to do so, it can raise alarm where the result announced by INEC fails to align with its own.

Earlier, a member of the board of Yiaga Africa, Mr Ezenwa Nwagwu said the group prior to the election would set up a situation room, where data would be collated and analysed.

He urged journalists and political groups in the state wishing to get timely information about events in various parts of the state to always contact the group.