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Beyond the Figures

Mar 08, 2024

The Ballot Integrity Project (BIP) led by Kimpact Development Initiative (KDI) in collaboration with electoral experts and comparative democratization researcher (academic), is a statistical evaluation project focused on improving election results management. This report focused on the November 11, 2023, off-cycle governorship elections in Bayelsa, Imo, and Kogi States. Also, it sheds light on critical issues affecting the transparency and integrity of electoral processes in Nigeria.

Key findings from the Bayelsa, Imo, and Kogi off-cycle governorship election ballot integrity report highlighted the adoption of the Continuous Accreditation and Voting System (CAVS) by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and its impact on reducing voter disenfranchisement and irregularities. Despite the introduction of CAVS, the report identifies persistent challenges, including discrepancies in accreditation figures and missing ballot incidents, indicating systemic weaknesses in election management.

The report shows how the vulnerabilities in the current system may be allowing human made errors or other irregularities at the polling unit to sometimes scale through the layers of audit at the ward and Local Government Areas (LGA) levels. Some of these errors range from arithmetic errors to discrepancies between accredited voters and total votes cast. Furthermore, Ballot Integrity Project (BIP) check showed that existing initiatives on Election Result Integrity may be predominantly focusing on verifying collated figures at the ward and LGA levels, without scrutinizing election figures originating from the polling units. Consequently, if polling unit results are manipulated or altered, there is a high probability that such initiatives or checks may endorse those results.