EC's declaration of presidential election results reflects accurately how citizens voted - CODEO (VIDEO)

BY: Kweku Zurek
Acting Chair of CODEO, Sheikh Arimiyawo Shaibu
Acting Chair of CODEO, Sheikh Arimiyawo Shaibu

The Coalition of Domestic Election Observers (CODEO) has asked Ghanaians to give confidence to the Presidential Election results declared by the Electoral Commission as it reflects accurately how citizens voted on December 7, 2020.

CODEO at a press briefing on Thursday morning [December 10, 2020] also encouraged any party or candidate with issues about the presidential results to peacefully resolve these through proper legal and procedural channels.

The group said it monitored the election by deploying 1,502 Parallel Voter Tabulation (PVT) Observers across the 275 constituencies in the country’s 16 regions.

Observers who were deployed used a nationally representative random sample of polling stations located in every region and constituency of the country.

"CODEO appeals to Ghanaians to remain calm, law-abiding and allow the systems to work. CODEO further commends the maturity shown by Ghanaians throughout the voting, counting, and collating processes" the Acting Chair of CODEO, Sheikh Arimiyawo Shaibu said at the press briefing.

"Given that the official result announced by the Electoral Commission for each candidate falls within their respective PVT estimated confidence ranges, CODEO can confidently confirm that its PVT estimates are consistent with the official presidential election results.

"Not only do CODEO’s PVT estimates match the official results of the EC, but our observers also reported that the two main parties (NDC and NPP) had party agents at over 99% of polling stations and that both NDC and NPP party agents also signed the official declaration of polls and were given copies of those documents".

CODEO's 2020 PVT Estimates of Presidential Election

The estimates presented by the PVT closely matched the EC's official results, falling within CODEO's estimated 95% confidence range and the associated margin of error.

For instance, while President-elect Akufo-Addo obtained 51.302% in the official EC results, CODEO estimated the President's results in its PVT at 50.98%.

CODEO's estimates for the National Democratic Congress candidate John Dramani Mahama was much closer to the EC's official results. Mahama polled 47.359% in the official results and 47.66% in CODEO's PVT estimates.

"Aside from the fact that the PVT estimates of candidates’ vote share received generally match the EC's official results, the PVT estimated rejected ballots of 2.25% with a margin of error of ±0.11% is also consistent with the EC’s figure of 2.33%," Sheikh Arimiyawo Shaibu said.

"The official voter turnout rate of 79.0% announced by the EC is slightly outside the PVT voter turnout confidence range based on the estimated turnout rate of 79.69% and error margin of ±0.46%. It is worth noting, however, that this could be due to exclusion of the outstanding results from Techiman South Constituency with a total number of 128,018 registered voters".

About the PVT Methodology

The PVT is a scientific election observation technique that combines well-established statistical principles and Information Communication Technology (ICT) to observe elections.

It involves deploying trained accredited Observers to a nationally representative random sample of polling stations. On Election-Day, PVT Observers observe the entire polling process and transmit reports about the conduct of the polls and the official vote count in real-time to a central election observation database, using the Short Message Service (SMS) platform.

The PVT technique has been deployed successfully around the world to promote electoral integrity and help defend the rights of citizens to vote and to protect such rights when exercised.

The first PVT was conducted in the Philippines in 1986. Since then, the methodology has been deployed in election observation in Bulgaria, Chile, Croatia, Guyana, Albania, Bangladesh, Belarus, Indonesia, Georgia, Macedonia, Slovakia, Montenegro, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru and Ukraine.

In Africa, the methodology has been deployed successfully in Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Uganda, Burundi, Sierra Leone, Zambia, Ghana, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Kenya and Tunisia.

Difference between PVT and pre-election surveys

Unlike pre-election surveys (which track voter intentions) or exit polls (which track voter recollections), the PVT is based on the actual behavior of electorates in an election.

"PVT Observers do not speak to voters about the choices they made at the polls to predict the outcome of an election. Rather, after observing the entire voting and counting process, PVT Observers record the official vote count as announced by election officials at polling stations and rapidly transmit this information to an observation centre via coded text message. Consequently, the PVT data is collected directly from polling stations," CODEO said in a statement.

Watch the press briefing in the video below

Read the entire statement below;

CODEO 2020 Presidential Election Result Verification Statement (PVT) by Kweku Zurek on Scribd

CODEO 2020 Presidential Election Result Verification Statement (PVT) by Kweku Zurek on Scribd