Yiaga Africa’s Watching The Vote Process and Results Verification Statement on the 2020 Edo Gubernatorial Election

It is with great pleasure that we welcome you to Yiaga Africa’s Watching The Vote (WTV) Statement on the Process and Results of the 2020 governorship election in Edo. This press briefing provides updated data on the midday situational report on the 2020 Edo governorship report released yesterday by Yiaga Africa WTV. Although Yiaga Africa had received its data on the results by midnight on election day and had a stable estimated range for the election outcome, it could only share the result verification statement after the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had announced the election results. This is Yiaga Africa’s statement on the official results announced by INEC.

On election day, Yiaga Africa WTV employed the PVT methodology and deployed 500 stationary observers in pairs to a representative statistical sample of 250 polling units, and 25 mobile observers located in all 18 Local Government Areas (LGAs) in the state. Yiaga Africa also deployed 19 collation centre observers to each of the 18 LGA Collation Centres and the state collation centre. This deployment strategy enabled Yiaga Africa to provide timely and accurate information on the conduct of accreditation and voting, as well as counting, and to independently verify the official results for the Edo gubernatorial election as announced by INEC. The process report on the conduct of accreditation and voting, and counting is based on reports from 245 of 250 (99%) sampled polling units.

Yiaga Africa commends and congratulates the people of Edo state for maintaining peace through the voting and counting and result collation process across the state. Yiaga Africa observed intimidation and harassment of observers, voters and polling officials by party thugs, which led to violent disruption of the voting process in some polling units and likely disenfranchisement of voters in the affected locations. Yiaga Africa also condemns the shooting incident in Etsako Central LGA which led to the death of a citizen. In addition, Yiaga Africa observed state-wide disregard of COVID-19 protocols at polling units. Yiaga Africa notes, however, that this election was an improvement on the 2019 Kogi and Bayelsa governorship elections. While the election experienced slow commencement of polls, INEC improved in its processes for the deployment and use of the Smart Card readers, posting of election results at the polling units, and upload of polling unit result sheets on the INEC Result Viewing Portal using Z-pad electronic tablets. Yiaga Africa also notes the opening of almost all polling units across the state, thereby providing almost all Edo citizens the opportunity to vote.

Yiaga Africa undertook Watching The Vote to provide citizens, governorship candidates, political parties, and INEC with independent information on whether the official results truly reflect the ballots cast at polling units. If INEC’s official results fall within Yiaga Africa’s estimated range, then the public, political parties, and candidates should have confidence that the official results reflect the ballots cast in the polling units. However, if the announced results have been manipulated and do not match the polling unit results, Yiaga Africa will expose it.

 

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#WatchingTheVote is a citizen led election observation initiative aimed at enhancing the integrity of elections in Nigeria using technological tools like sms and evidence-based research methodology tools for election observation.

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