- YIAGA Africa’s WatchingTheVote (WTV) has concluded plans to build a national structure to observe the 2019 general elections
- There are already plans to train 48 recruited State Focal Points representing the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory on the Parallel Vote Tabulation
- The goal for the exercise is to build a movement of citizens committed to electoral integrity by providing accurate and timely information on the elections and its outcome
Ahead of the 2019 general elections, YIAGA Africa’s WatchingTheVote (WTV) has concluded plans to train 48 recruited State Focal Points (SFP) representing the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory on the Parallel Vote Tabulation (PVT); a special election day observation methodology that deploys statistics and information and communication technology to systematically observe the election.
The PVT academy which is scheduled to hold in Abuja, from today, Tuesday, June 12 to tomorrow, Wednesday, June 13 present an opportunity for YIAGA Africa to build the capacity of the newly recruited SFP’s who will be responsible for building a state structure for the project which includes recruiting Local Government Area (LGA) supervisors in the 774 LGA’s in Nigeria while also observing the pre-election environment.
Having deployed observers to observe the Continuous voter registration (CVR) exercise, the political party primaries in Ekiti and currently observing the pre-election environment in the state, the WTV findings so far indicates an increasing interest by citizens to participate in the process.
NAIJ.com gathered that the findings also indicates an apparent gap in the level of citizen’s confidence in the electoral process while identifying the activities of political parties as possible threats to a credible and peaceful election.
Watching the Vote is to build a movement of citizens committed to electoral integrity by providing accurate and timely information on the elections and verifying the outcome of the election.
As part of the activities towards the comprehensive observation of the 2019 general elections, the PVT academy says it will include sessions on; ‘understanding the electoral process,’ ‘principles for election observation,’ ‘deploying the parallel vote tabulation for data-driven election observation,’ effectively observing the pre-election environment and recruiting the LGA supervisors.
A statement from YIAGA noted that, “the academy will also provide a broad overview of the WTV project, discuss YIAGA’s plan for the observation of the 2019 presidential election, the role of the SFPs as well as discuss the broad timelines for the WTV project.
“For the 2019 presidential election, the YIAGA WTV will conduct a PVT drawing on statistical principles and using information technology to provide systematic data on the quality of election day processes and to verify the accuracy of the official results.
“To achieve this, YIAGA will recruit, train and deploy accredited observers to specific polling units in every LGA in the 36 State to systematically collate and rapidly share their reports via coded SMS (text) messages with the WTV data centre where the data is analyzed and findings shared with the public.
“For the 2019 election, this initiative involves a comprehensive observation of the pre-election period (beginning with voter registration), tracking of early warning signs, activities of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), political parties (candidate nominations and rallies) and other election stakeholders, using advanced observation methodologies. This is because the 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 INEC election results.
“While the stage is being set for 2019, YIAGA’s Watching the Vote remains committed to electoral integrity and will be constantly providing a platform for discourse on the election by providing timely data on the process and advancing evidence based electoral reform advocacy.”
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Meanwhile, ahead of the July 14 governorship elections in Ekiti state, YIAGA Africa’s Watching The Vote (WTV) will be deploying 500 stationary observers to 250 sampled polling units across the 16 local government areas in the state with 24 mobile observers and 16 LGA collation observers.
NAIJ.com gathered that recruitment of observers is currently going on in each of the 16 LGAs in Ekiti state ahead of intensive training on election day observation and report to the YIAGA Ekiti state WTV data center which will be located in Ado-Ekiti.
NAIJ.com special report on Anambra governorship election on NAIJ.com TV