Training Kenyan Elections Observers on the Parallel Vote Tabulation System
USAID, and its partners the National Democratic Institute, are supporting the Elections Observation Group (ELOG) to administer a nationwide domestic elections observation effort that includes a parallel vote tabulation.

A parallel vote tabulation is a powerful but complex method for systematically monitoring an election. By obtaining a copy of the list of polling stations publicly provided by an election commission, citizen observation groups can systematically deploy observers to a representative, random sample of polling stations to both observe the process and verify the official election results by using the laws of statistics.

The Elections Observation Group (ELOG) will be monitoring the March 4, 2013 Kenya general elections through the parallel vote tabulation methodology to make sure that there is integrity in the electoral process.

On the February 25, 2013, ELOG conducted a full scale simulation of the Parallel Vote Tabulation (PVT) observation exercise to test all the major components and to ensure that the PVT is a success on election day. The simulation exercise tests the commitment of each observer, their understanding of how to report, the accuracy of their reports and the network coverage at their assigned station.

Observers note the number of ballots cast and the votes recorded by officials for each contestant. Observers collect these numbers at the polling station, when the results are posted by the polling station official. The results observers record are the same numbers that the election commission would use to calculate the official results.

Reports are generally sent by coded SMS and in some cases using applications on smartphones. Observers report both information on the electoral process and the recorded number of votes per candidate or party via coded SMS which is rapidly transmitted and categorized at the PVT data center.

Observation statements present careful analysis of data, assure accurate characterizations of elections, and present confident verification of official election results.
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