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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

Sierra Leone’s National Electoral Commission (NEC) on Thursday issued an official statement stressing that ‘Data entry is underway and accuracy will take precedence over speed.’

The NEC 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.

The electoral body called for patience and continued commitment to peace as it continued to receive results and tabulate them.

As part of our continued coverage, we explore the post vote process as presented by NEC.

  • Voting was ordinarily supposed to close at 5 pm (March 7), NEC said by 5:30 pm all polling stations had closed.
  • As at 2:00 am Thursday (March 8) results were coming into the five centers.
  • There are five regional tally centers – Bo, Freetown, Kenema, Makeni and Port Loko, according to NEC all were operational.
  • NEC has delivered reconciliation and result forms to the regional tally centers in sealed tamper-evident envelopes.
  • They will enter relevant data after the counting and return same to NEC headquarters or the national collation center. The chair can then release official results.
  • NEC 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.

Meanwhile, an observer group is projecting that thepresidential vote is likely to enter a run-off. According to the National Elections Watch (NEW), figures from their Prallel Voter Tabulation (PVT) process shows that none of the 16 candidates will get the 55% needed for an outright win.

In some major uppdates on the process, two opposition parties, the Coalition for Change (C4C) and National Grande Coalition (NGC) have raised concerns over the process saying their representatives had been evicted from voting centers during counting.

An attempt to search offices of the main opposition Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) 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.

Photo credit: Umaru Fofana @umarufofana

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