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Why Did The NEC Print 40% More Ballot Papers? (A Second Round Print)

 Although the elections is past and the nation awaits a grueling second round, I will be remiss if I did not ask this question, why did NEC print 3,053,435 when there are 2,183,194 registered voters? In a contentious second round, political operatives for the two sides need to use this as a must read if they did not read it before the elections.

Globally, there has never been a case where 100% of those who registered voted. Recent statistics provided by the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA) showed an average voter turnout of about 70%. Below are some statistics on voter turnout for 2016:

  1. USA – 57%
  2. Austria – 73%
  3. Benin – 66.13%
  4. Bulgaria – 56.28%
  5. Cape Verde – 35.48%
  6. CAR – 59%
  7. Chad – 65.95%
  8. Dominican Republic – 70%
  9. Guinea – 92%
  10. Ghana – 62%, and the list goes on.

Even our 2 recent elections showed the following:

  • Voter turnout 2005: 61%
  • Voter turnout 2011: 71.6%.

If we use these two election voter turnout data as a baseline, we can see that there is no reason to print contingency ballots of 40%. There is nowhere contingency can ever be in that range. Contingency are normally within 7-15% range, if necessary. No contingency is necessary in this case because the data speak for itself.

Worst-case scenario, if you print the total ballot of 2,183,194 (100% voter registration), the highest you will get, based on global turnout data, will be 92% (Eq. Guinea, Luxembourg, Australia, etc.). This still leaves you will 8% contingency for damaged ballot.

Is there something up your sleeves, Mr. Chairman? I am worried now because, the number of ballot papers printed, coupled with 2 missing voter centers on your published list for Margibi District #1 (Wouda and Newtown Stations) are evidential reason to be worried.

Political parties need to do few things here:

  • Ensure that NEC publishes the entire voter rolls and that only those registered at those centers be required to vote.
  • Validate all the polling stations in the country with the actuals in the field.

The NEC, through its Executive Director,  Lamin Leigh, in justifying the printing of 40% more ballot, provided the following justification:

  1. The ballot papers arrived in package of 500;hence, every polling station will receive 550 ballot papers.
  2. 3% of the total will be used as contingency. Please see calculation below as provided by the Executive Director:

550 (ballot papers ) X 5,390 (polling stations) = 2,964,500

2,964 X 3% (contingency) = 88,935

Total = 2,964,500 + 88,935 = 3,053,435

 

Here is a problem with their justification of each polling station receiving 550 ballots. Take the case of District #1 in Montserrado County with sample Precincts below.

 

No. Precincts Total Registration
30002 Goba Town Public School 733
30003 Sackie Town Public School 658
30028 Caresburg High School 1104
30029 Caresburg Adm. Building 999
30072 Crozierville Town Hall 1123
30101 Euphemial Barclay School 1305
30102 Morris Farm School 1596
30103 Blopa Public School 568
30104 Fendell Public School 553

 

Take the case of Goba Town Public School (30002) with two polling stations with 365 and 366 registrants per station. Each of these stations will receive 550 ballots papers, which means that Polling Station 1 will receive extra 185 ballots, while Polling Station 2 will receive extra 184 ballot papers, that 1/3 extra of the total ballot papers they are entitled to receive.  Let us take Fendell Public School with 553 registered voters. There are two polling stations with 276 and 277 registrants respectively. Each of these polling stations will receive 550 ballot papers based on the Chair and Lamin Leigh justification.  That has almost doubled the number of ballot papers they are entitled.

 

Twenty classic cases of providing more ballot papers than necessary and actually beat Mr. Leigh argument are as follow:

 

District #2Bomi County

3037 Kowadee Palava Hut 95

 

District #1 Grand Bassa County

9117 Kutuahn School Building 101
9118 Kpawetro Town Palava Hut 82

 

District # 3 Grand Bassa County

09033 Glaygbo Bannie Palava Hut 88

 

District #3 Grand Cape Mount County

12058 Weima Town Hall 86

 

District #2 Grand Gedeh County

15012 Nyongbah Public School 127
15023 Beh Town Elem School 61
15031 Peah Elem. School 127

 

District #3 Maryland County

27040 Jargeloken Town Hall 55
27041 Soloken Town Hall 47
27063 Seator Town Hall 74

 

District #1 Montserrado

30432 C.H. Henry Public Sch. 197
30434 Hart Town Hall 154

 

District #9 Nimba County

33174 Troyah Public School 88

 

District #1 Gbarpolu County

45073 Monbili Private School 179

 

District #2 Gbarpolu County

45074 Vassala Palava Hut 43

 

District # 3 Gbarpolu County

45026 Galahun Town Hall 58

 

District # 3 Sinoe County

39044 Quoih – Duo Palava Hut 30

 

District # 2 River Gee County

42056 Gbaquiah Elem. School 92
45014 Amtel Camp Palava Hut 160

 

These20 examples above demonstrate that the formula of 550 ballots per polling station is highly suspect. For Vassala Palava Hut for example, they will be receiving 550 ballot papers even though only 43 persons registered at this station. Same with Galahun town Hall. Even Quoih-Duo Palava Hut is received the same 550 ballots even though only 30 persons registered at that polling station. Henceforth, the NEC needs to give us the actual reason for overproduction and the 40% more ballot papers because the reason they provided does not hold water in his simplest form.

A sample of 569 Precincts (not polling stations) in 8 counties below showed a total of 158 polling stations (below) with less than 300 registered voters. That is 28% of the total polling stations in these counties. These polling stations will be receiving either double, triple or quadruple of the ballots. This is because NEC is giving 550 ballot papers to each polling stations even if you have 43, 44, 58, 31 or 12 registered voters as provided in the table below.

No. Precinct # Reg. Voters
GBARPOLU COUNTY
45074 Vassala Palava Hut 43
45027 Bombohun Town Hall 44
45026 Galahun Town Hall 58
45004 Beathou Town Hall 124
45063 Karmoh Town Palava Hut 129
45005 Domanmana Town Hall 154
45014 Amtel Camp Palava Hut 160
45016 Gbarkorma School 172
45028 Kelleh Town Hall 175
45073 Monbili Private School 179
45003 Beaden Town Hall 191
45048 Tawalata Town Hall 207
45029 Kpawolozu School 223
45066 Gainkpi Town Hut 226
45050 Manorwella Public School 227
45062 Lowoma Palava Hut 229
45075 Vanla Elementary School 236
45021 Gelekpasu School 239
45051 Tiggelee Town Hall 257
45064 Sarkpadeh Town Hall 258
45067 Tangata Palava Hut 258
45006 Marma Town Hall 267
45001 Ballah Town Public School 282
45025 Gungbe-ta School 295
GRAND KRU COUNTY
18025 Sobobo Public School 108
18053 Jarkakpoh Public School 132
18029 Boluwin Tonw Hall 160
18034 Niplaihkpo Public School 211
18020 Wedabo Beach School 212
18050 Beloken Town Hall 262
18039 Denteken Town Hall 276
18024 Warkpo Public School 283
18011 Neroh Public School 286
18041 Daykpoh Town Hall 286
18049 Money Camp 288
RIVERCESS COUNTY
36003 Gblor Church 134
36051 Dehgar School 148
36015 Dangrongbor Church 206
36043 Gbortoe Palavat Hut 214
36007 Suakon Dehbor Palava Hut 227
36052 Gorzohn Public School 227
36053 Toe’s Public School 289
SINOE COUNTY
39044 Quoih- Duo Palava Hut 31
39073 Commissioner’s House 86
39072 Kpeanbee Public School 135
39077 Gbliyee Public School 141
39070 Twah Community School 155
39067 Dordroken Public School 169
39004 Judu Town Public School 192
39045 Jalay Town Palava Hut 192
39026 Gboyee Town Palava Hut 207
39076 Komanah Public School 211
39081 Bleweeya Public School 218
39002 Kunwiah Palava Hut 219
39018 Boe Smaljilla Public School 219
39014 Joplokpo Palava Hut 226
39008 chebioh Palava Hut 231
39048 Sargbah Town Public School 244
39003 Kallor Town Palava Hut 246
39010 Pelloken Palava Hut 247
39075 Jokoken Elementary School 248
39007 Ceeter Palava Hut 253
39033 Menwah Palava Hut 254
39078 New VRC House 259
39079 Chewlue Public School 274
39058 Tournata Palava Hut 284
39080 William Dagbe Mem. School 287
39057 Wessay Town Palava Hut 290
MARYLAND COUNTY
27011 Nemeken Town Hall 12
27041 Soloken Town Hall 47
27040 Jargeloken Town Hall 55
27046 Chiliken Elem. School 63
27063 Seator Town Hall 74
27007 Gbaewen Elem. School 128
27064 Sawtorken Town Hall 147
27061 Paugbaken Elem. School 149
27060 Sampson Goe Elem. School 154
27048 Gbiabosuken Town Hall 155
27031 Libsuco Comm. School 160
27015 Golobo Elem. School 161
27008 Gbeken Town Hall 168
27059 Martuken Town Hall 175
27029 Mission Town Hall 184
27051 Gorturken Town Hall 185
27066 Gwissiken Town Hall 200
27018 Little Wlebo Elem. School 208
27017 Kablaken Town Hall 214
27016 Spring Hill Yealu Elem. Sch. 230
27035 Worteken Town Hall 237
27019 Middle Town Hall 245
27081 New Half Graway Elem. Sch. 248
27021 Pedebo Elem School 278
27054 Dwejah Town Hall 282
27069 Henogbe Elem. School 293
27042 Boys Dormitory 294
27014 Div. 5 Camp 5 Palava Hut 296
RIVER GEE COUNTY
24026 Torroeken Town Hall 62
42056 Gbaquiah Elem. School 92
42054 Betiken Public School 110
42051 Sallah Town Hall 128
42014 Yobloken Town Hall 145
42041 Kiabo Town Hall 179
42035 Seagboken Town Hall 184
42020 Juwelbo Public School 262
42038 Gedeken Town Hall 266
42027 Paaken Public School 267
42009 Taryaken Town Hall 268
42006 Yargbeken Public School 295
42037 Fletiken Town Hall 296
GRAND GEDEH COUNTY
15023 Beh Town Elem. School 61
15066 Sentrudu Elem. School 121
15065 Dehyealah Palava Hut 127
15012 Nyongbah Public School 128
15031 Peah Elem. School 128
15068 Jaibo Town Elementary School 130
15070 Dweh Elementary School 131
15069 John David Elem. School 133
15043 Togbayee Elem. School 138
15003 Buway Palava Hut 139
15014 Flah Palava Hut 165
15027 Jozon Elem. School 202
15046 Garley Town Pub School 211
15039 Tarloken High School 233
15053 Wulu Elem. School 237
15077 Zilaken Elem. School 245
15044 Tojallah Elem. School 247
15029 Gardueh Town Public School 252
15067 Blown Town Elementary School 264
15047 Gwein Town Public School 265
15073 Solo Elem. School 268
15006 Bodee Public School 270
15011 Dayblay Elem. School 289
15072 Gbayea Town Elem. School 291
15022 Glaplay Town Public School 294
BOMI COUNTY
3039 Gbakendu Palava Hut 93
3037 Kowadee Palava Hut 95
3082 Galakpah Palava Hut 141
3021 Jeon School 152
3001 Baima Palava Hut 160
3082 Kamara Town Public School 180
3036 Geveh Fahnsee Palava Hut 218
3049 Zamian Town Palava Hut 220
3032 Managbokai Palava Hut 226
3079 Beagonah Town Public School 257
3081 Gbonkor Village Palava Hut 265
3053 Gogngweh Palava Hut 271
3077 Nyoundee Town Hall 279
3066 Zuwah Town Palava Hut 295
3050 Zohnbaimon Palava Hut 296

The NEC, as custodian of the ballot papers are either too lazy or busy to take a day or two (in the presence of Observers and other International Participants) open these packets of 500 and give to the polling stations what they actually deserved (along with about 10% contingency ballots). For example, the polling station with only 12 registered voters (Nemeken Town Hall), are receiving 550 ballot papers instead of say 20 ballot papers simply because NEC does not want to open any packet of ballots.We are calling on NEC to do right thing to bring integrity to the process.

 

 

Although the elections is past and the nation awaits a grueling second round, I will be remiss if I did not ask this question, why did NEC print 3,053,435 when there are 2,183,194 registered voters? In a contentious second round, political operatives for the two sides need to use this as a must read if they did not read it before the elections.

Globally, there has never been a case where 100% of those who registered voted. Recent statistics provided by the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA) showed an average voter turnout of about 70%. Below are some statistics on voter turnout for 2016:

  1. USA – 57%
  2. Austria – 73%
  3. Benin – 66.13%
  4. Bulgaria – 56.28%
  5. Cape Verde – 35.48%
  6. CAR – 59%
  7. Chad – 65.95%
  8. Dominican Republic – 70%
  9. Guinea – 92%
  10. Ghana – 62%, and the list goes on.

Even our 2 recent elections showed the following:

  • Voter turnout 2005: 61%
  • Voter turnout 2011: 71.6%.

If we use these two election voter turnout data as a baseline, we can see that there is no reason to print contingency ballots of 40%. There is nowhere contingency can ever be in that range. Contingency are normally within 7-15% range, if necessary. No contingency is necessary in this case because the data speak for itself.

Worst-case scenario, if you print the total ballot of 2,183,194 (100% voter registration), the highest you will get, based on global turnout data, will be 92% (Eq. Guinea, Luxembourg, Australia, etc.). This still leaves you will 8% contingency for damaged ballot.

Is there something up your sleeves, Mr. Chairman? I am worried now because, the number of ballot papers printed, coupled with 2 missing voter centers on your published list for Margibi District #1 (Wouda and Newtown Stations) are evidential reason to be worried.

Political parties need to do few things here:

  • Ensure that NEC publishes the entire voter rolls and that only those registered at those centers be required to vote.
  • Validate all the polling stations in the country with the actuals in the field.

The NEC, through its Executive Director,  Lamin Leigh, in justifying the printing of 40% more ballot, provided the following justification:

  1. The ballot papers arrived in package of 500;hence, every polling station will receive 550 ballot papers.
  2. 3% of the total will be used as contingency. Please see calculation below as provided by the Executive Director:

550 (ballot papers ) X 5,390 (polling stations) = 2,964,500

2,964 X 3% (contingency) = 88,935

Total = 2,964,500 + 88,935 = 3,053,435

 

Here is a problem with their justification of each polling station receiving 550 ballots. Take the case of District #1 in Montserrado County with sample Precincts below.

 

No. Precincts Total Registration
30002 Goba Town Public School 733
30003 Sackie Town Public School 658
30028 Caresburg High School 1104
30029 Caresburg Adm. Building 999
30072 Crozierville Town Hall 1123
30101 Euphemial Barclay School 1305
30102 Morris Farm School 1596
30103 Blopa Public School 568
30104 Fendell Public School 553

 

Take the case of Goba Town Public School (30002) with two polling stations with 365 and 366 registrants per station. Each of these stations will receive 550 ballots papers, which means that Polling Station 1 will receive extra 185 ballots, while Polling Station 2 will receive extra 184 ballot papers, that 1/3 extra of the total ballot papers they are entitled to receive.  Let us take Fendell Public School with 553 registered voters. There are two polling stations with 276 and 277 registrants respectively. Each of these polling stations will receive 550 ballot papers based on the Chair and Lamin Leigh justification.  That has almost doubled the number of ballot papers they are entitled.

 

Twenty classic cases of providing more ballot papers than necessary and actually beat Mr. Leigh argument are as follow:

 

District #2Bomi County

3037 Kowadee Palava Hut 95

 

District #1 Grand Bassa County

9117 Kutuahn School Building 101
9118 Kpawetro Town Palava Hut 82

 

District # 3 Grand Bassa County

09033 Glaygbo Bannie Palava Hut 88

 

District #3 Grand Cape Mount County

12058 Weima Town Hall 86

 

District #2 Grand Gedeh County

15012 Nyongbah Public School 127
15023 Beh Town Elem School 61
15031 Peah Elem. School 127

 

District #3 Maryland County

27040 Jargeloken Town Hall 55
27041 Soloken Town Hall 47
27063 Seator Town Hall 74

 

District #1 Montserrado

30432 C.H. Henry Public Sch. 197
30434 Hart Town Hall 154

 

District #9 Nimba County

33174 Troyah Public School 88

 

District #1 Gbarpolu County

45073 Monbili Private School 179

 

District #2 Gbarpolu County

45074 Vassala Palava Hut 43

 

District # 3 Gbarpolu County

45026 Galahun Town Hall 58

 

District # 3 Sinoe County

39044 Quoih – Duo Palava Hut 30

 

District # 2 River Gee County

42056 Gbaquiah Elem. School 92
45014 Amtel Camp Palava Hut 160

 

These20 examples above demonstrate that the formula of 550 ballots per polling station is highly suspect. For Vassala Palava Hut for example, they will be receiving 550 ballot papers even though only 43 persons registered at this station. Same with Galahun town Hall. Even Quoih-Duo Palava Hut is received the same 550 ballots even though only 30 persons registered at that polling station. Henceforth, the NEC needs to give us the actual reason for overproduction and the 40% more ballot papers because the reason they provided does not hold water in his simplest form.

A sample of 569 Precincts (not polling stations) in 8 counties below showed a total of 158 polling stations (below) with less than 300 registered voters. That is 28% of the total polling stations in these counties. These polling stations will be receiving either double, triple or quadruple of the ballots. This is because NEC is giving 550 ballot papers to each polling stations even if you have 43, 44, 58, 31 or 12 registered voters as provided in the table below.

No. Precinct # Reg. Voters
GBARPOLU COUNTY
45074 Vassala Palava Hut 43
45027 Bombohun Town Hall 44
45026 Galahun Town Hall 58
45004 Beathou Town Hall 124
45063 Karmoh Town Palava Hut 129
45005 Domanmana Town Hall 154
45014 Amtel Camp Palava Hut 160
45016 Gbarkorma School 172
45028 Kelleh Town Hall 175
45073 Monbili Private School 179
45003 Beaden Town Hall 191
45048 Tawalata Town Hall 207
45029 Kpawolozu School 223
45066 Gainkpi Town Hut 226
45050 Manorwella Public School 227
45062 Lowoma Palava Hut 229
45075 Vanla Elementary School 236
45021 Gelekpasu School 239
45051 Tiggelee Town Hall 257
45064 Sarkpadeh Town Hall 258
45067 Tangata Palava Hut 258
45006 Marma Town Hall 267
45001 Ballah Town Public School 282
45025 Gungbe-ta School 295
GRAND KRU COUNTY
18025 Sobobo Public School 108
18053 Jarkakpoh Public School 132
18029 Boluwin Tonw Hall 160
18034 Niplaihkpo Public School 211
18020 Wedabo Beach School 212
18050 Beloken Town Hall 262
18039 Denteken Town Hall 276
18024 Warkpo Public School 283
18011 Neroh Public School 286
18041 Daykpoh Town Hall 286
18049 Money Camp 288
RIVERCESS COUNTY
36003 Gblor Church 134
36051 Dehgar School 148
36015 Dangrongbor Church 206
36043 Gbortoe Palavat Hut 214
36007 Suakon Dehbor Palava Hut 227
36052 Gorzohn Public School 227
36053 Toe’s Public School 289
SINOE COUNTY
39044 Quoih- Duo Palava Hut 31
39073 Commissioner’s House 86
39072 Kpeanbee Public School 135
39077 Gbliyee Public School 141
39070 Twah Community School 155
39067 Dordroken Public School 169
39004 Judu Town Public School 192
39045 Jalay Town Palava Hut 192
39026 Gboyee Town Palava Hut 207
39076 Komanah Public School 211
39081 Bleweeya Public School 218
39002 Kunwiah Palava Hut 219
39018 Boe Smaljilla Public School 219
39014 Joplokpo Palava Hut 226
39008 chebioh Palava Hut 231
39048 Sargbah Town Public School 244
39003 Kallor Town Palava Hut 246
39010 Pelloken Palava Hut 247
39075 Jokoken Elementary School 248
39007 Ceeter Palava Hut 253
39033 Menwah Palava Hut 254
39078 New VRC House 259
39079 Chewlue Public School 274
39058 Tournata Palava Hut 284
39080 William Dagbe Mem. School 287
39057 Wessay Town Palava Hut 290
MARYLAND COUNTY
27011 Nemeken Town Hall 12
27041 Soloken Town Hall 47
27040 Jargeloken Town Hall 55
27046 Chiliken Elem. School 63
27063 Seator Town Hall 74
27007 Gbaewen Elem. School 128
27064 Sawtorken Town Hall 147
27061 Paugbaken Elem. School 149
27060 Sampson Goe Elem. School 154
27048 Gbiabosuken Town Hall 155
27031 Libsuco Comm. School 160
27015 Golobo Elem. School 161
27008 Gbeken Town Hall 168
27059 Martuken Town Hall 175
27029 Mission Town Hall 184
27051 Gorturken Town Hall 185
27066 Gwissiken Town Hall 200
27018 Little Wlebo Elem. School 208
27017 Kablaken Town Hall 214
27016 Spring Hill Yealu Elem. Sch. 230
27035 Worteken Town Hall 237
27019 Middle Town Hall 245
27081 New Half Graway Elem. Sch. 248
27021 Pedebo Elem School 278
27054 Dwejah Town Hall 282
27069 Henogbe Elem. School 293
27042 Boys Dormitory 294
27014 Div. 5 Camp 5 Palava Hut 296
RIVER GEE COUNTY
24026 Torroeken Town Hall 62
42056 Gbaquiah Elem. School 92
42054 Betiken Public School 110
42051 Sallah Town Hall 128
42014 Yobloken Town Hall 145
42041 Kiabo Town Hall 179
42035 Seagboken Town Hall 184
42020 Juwelbo Public School 262
42038 Gedeken Town Hall 266
42027 Paaken Public School 267
42009 Taryaken Town Hall 268
42006 Yargbeken Public School 295
42037 Fletiken Town Hall 296
GRAND GEDEH COUNTY
15023 Beh Town Elem. School 61
15066 Sentrudu Elem. School 121
15065 Dehyealah Palava Hut 127
15012 Nyongbah Public School 128
15031 Peah Elem. School 128
15068 Jaibo Town Elementary School 130
15070 Dweh Elementary School 131
15069 John David Elem. School 133
15043 Togbayee Elem. School 138
15003 Buway Palava Hut 139
15014 Flah Palava Hut 165
15027 Jozon Elem. School 202
15046 Garley Town Pub School 211
15039 Tarloken High School 233
15053 Wulu Elem. School 237
15077 Zilaken Elem. School 245
15044 Tojallah Elem. School 247
15029 Gardueh Town Public School 252
15067 Blown Town Elementary School 264
15047 Gwein Town Public School 265
15073 Solo Elem. School 268
15006 Bodee Public School 270
15011 Dayblay Elem. School 289
15072 Gbayea Town Elem. School 291
15022 Glaplay Town Public School 294
BOMI COUNTY
3039 Gbakendu Palava Hut 93
3037 Kowadee Palava Hut 95
3082 Galakpah Palava Hut 141
3021 Jeon School 152
3001 Baima Palava Hut 160
3082 Kamara Town Public School 180
3036 Geveh Fahnsee Palava Hut 218
3049 Zamian Town Palava Hut 220
3032 Managbokai Palava Hut 226
3079 Beagonah Town Public School 257
3081 Gbonkor Village Palava Hut 265
3053 Gogngweh Palava Hut 271
3077 Nyoundee Town Hall 279
3066 Zuwah Town Palava Hut 295
3050 Zohnbaimon Palava Hut 296

The NEC, as custodian of the ballot papers are either too lazy or busy to take a day or two (in the presence of Observers and other International Participants) open these packets of 500 and give to the polling stations what they actually deserved (along with about 10% contingency ballots). For example, the polling station with only 12 registered voters (Nemeken Town Hall), are receiving 550 ballot papers instead of say 20 ballot papers simply because NEC does not want to open any packet of ballots.We are calling on NEC to do right thing to bring integrity to the process.