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Sierra Leone NEC puts accuracy over speed: Facts about vote collation process

Sierra Leone NEC puts accuracy over speed: Facts about vote collation process

Sierra Leone

<p>Sierra Leone’s National Electoral Commission (<span class="caps">NEC</span>) on Thursday issued an official statement stressing that ‘Data entry is underway and accuracy will take precedence over speed.’</p> <p>The <span class="caps">NEC</span> statement of March 8, 2018; signed by Chairman Mohamed N’fah Alie-Conteh also reiterated that it was the constitutionally mandated body that is responsible to deliver election results and is the only authority in doing so.</p> <p>The electoral body called for patience and continued commitment to peace as it continued to receive results and tabulate them.</p> <p><strong>As part of our continued coverage, we explore the post vote process as presented by <span class="caps">NEC</span>.</strong></p> <ul> <li>Voting was ordinarily supposed to close at 5 pm (March 7), <span class="caps">NEC</span> said by 5:30 pm all polling stations had closed.</li> </ul> <ul> <li>As at 2:00 am Thursday (March 8) results were coming into the five centers.</li> </ul> <ul> <li>There are five regional tally centers – Bo, Freetown, Kenema, Makeni and Port Loko, according to <span class="caps">NEC</span> all were operational.</li> </ul> <ul> <li><span class="caps">NEC</span> has delivered reconciliation and result forms to the regional tally centers in sealed tamper-evident envelopes.</li> </ul> <ul> <li>They will enter relevant data after the counting and return same to <span class="caps">NEC</span> headquarters or the national collation center. The chair can then release official results.</li> </ul> <ul> <li><span class="caps">NEC</span> admitted irregularities with ballot boxes, disclosing that of the 17,745 sealed boxes of ballots after close of polls, 37 (representing 0.2%) were problematic.</li> </ul> <p>Meanwhile, an observer group is projecting that the<a href="http://www.africanews.com/2018/03/08/civil-society-coalition-projects-election-run-off-in-sierra-leone/" target="_blank">presidential vote is likely to enter a run-off.</a> According to the National Elections Watch (<span class="caps">NEW</span>), figures from their Prallel Voter Tabulation (<span class="caps">PVT</span>) process shows that none of the 16 candidates will get the 55% needed for an outright win.</p> <p>In some major uppdates on the process, two opposition parties, the Coalition for Change (C4C) and National Grande Coalition (<span class="caps">NGC</span>) have <a href="http://www.africanews.com/2018/03/08/opposition-parties-cry-foul-in-sierra-leone-ecowas-releases-preliminary-report/ " target="_blank">raised concerns</a> over the process saying their representatives had been evicted from voting centers during counting.</p> <p>An <a href="http://www.africanews.com/2018/03/08/sierra-leone-police-raid-on-main-opposition-office-here-are-the-facts/" target="_blank">attempt to search</a> offices of the main opposition Sierra Leone Peoples Party (<span class="caps">SLPP</span>) raised tensions as police and supporters clashed. The situation was calmed by head of Commonwealth Observer Mission and ex-President of Ghana, John Dramani Mahama.</p> <p><strong><em>Photo credit: Umaru Fofana @umarufofana</em></strong></p> <iframe src="//embed.scribblelive.com/Embed/v7.aspx?Id= 2745603&ThemeId=19714" width="100%" height="1200" frameborder="0"></iframe>
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