Liveblogging #GhanaDecides Day 2: The Revenge

CODEO Dataclerks, Ghana 2012

Goooood morning #Ghana

In a bit of a personal tradition, I'm liveblogging elements from today's Groundhog Day-style election Part the Second.

Updates are added in reverse cronological order.

Epilogue READ MORE »

Second of Twelve: #EgyElections Day Two

Egyptian Data Clerks on E-Day 1

Hello dear readers - As is becoming something of a tradition I'm going to do a pot of liveblogging for Day Two of Round One of the First House of the Egyptian Elections. I'm doing it in reverse-cron format with newer stuff at the top. Regretfully I have to catch a plane to Nigeria tonight, so I'm going to be abandoning my friends here before the bitter end.

4:20 PM

And my time here is drawing to an end. We've been making a big push on our media outreach. Like the proverbial tree in the forest we want to make sure someone can hear the statements from Project Rakeeb. We landed one particularly big fish today with the Washington Post, who called Rakeeb "a team of well-regarded Egyptian electoral observers." Hopefully this will snowball into more mentions in other sources. READ MORE »

Liveblogging the Zambian Elections

Phone Operators at the Casino/Data Center

I'll be liveblogging the Zambian elections from the Civil Society Elections Coalition (CSEC)'s base at the Taj Pamodzi from my own perspective. If you want to read chronologically, start at the bottom - I'll insert new content up top as I go. I apologize for any typos, etc - it's gonna be a long day.

2:05 AM

Signing off for the night. Ballots are being counted across Zambia; the process is wrapping up in many places but still has hours to go in others. Our doughty data clerks are taking the calls coming in. For the last while I've been staked out at our front entrance. It's critical to keep these spaces secure; everyone in here must have a badge, and visitors must be escorted. Too much important information to let random people wander about.

In a late-night triumph I found a "Bitter Lemon" soda, which is a refreshing change from the endless cups of chicory Nescafe. I've only had these in Africa; they're a bit like a tonic water with a shot of lemon concentrate. Probably don't need any coffee at this point. #twitch Now I'm going to head home and crash for a few hours; my colleagues tag in until 8 AM, and so on.

Thanks for following, folks. If you have questions or comments, don't hesitate to hit me on Twitter as @cdoten. Tomorrow will be a big day for Zambia - keep your fingers crossed that all goes well.

11:35 PM READ MORE »

#NigeriaDecides 3.0: The Gubers

Morning planning at Project 2011 Swift Count

Morning all. I'm going to do a bit of liveblogging of today's Gubernatorial elections from Project 2011 Swift Count's secret lair again.

6:30 PM

Most of the labor-intensive work is done with the project now. The texts are in or the observers have been relentlessly hounded on the phone until they gave over the information, and the database is as up to date as it is going to get. You can never expect 100% in this kind of endeavor - with 8000 monitors, some people will have quit, gotten sick, lost their phone, or perhaps never existed in the first place. With all those caveats, the fact that we got well over 95% of our data is a real feat.

The data clerks have wrapped up and are heading home. They'll be back again to take care of some accounting and claim their prize: a certificate. Certificates of participation and commendation from well-regarded organizations like NDI are highly valued in a society where resumes ain't always trustworthy.

From the tech perspective, the Gods of IT were apparently appeased today; all of the computers and networks behaved beautifully. READ MORE »

#NigeriaDecides 2.0: The Presidential

Victor's opening speech

I will be liveblogging Nigeria's presidential election from inside the headquarters of Project Swift Count 2011, NDI's local election monitoring partner. At least, whenever firefighting permits.

7:45 PM Well folks, that's it. We've hit our targets for the presidential; as a statistically based sample, it is critical that we get a certain amount of complete, accurate information. However, once you've got that, in some ways anything else is overkill. At 7 we got well beyond what we needed for our distribution, and an astonishingly high 95% or so of all our core observers got us confirmed data. The data clerks whooped and gave a big round of applause. I imagine they were pretty enthusiastic to learn that they would not have to spend the next 4 hours yelling "No, D P! Not D D!" Apparently the NATO alphabet is not in common usage in Nigeria. Now our number crunchers will dig into the information and come up with the detailed analysis.

I will go home and brood over the various tech problems we encountered and attempt to mitigate them. With some work and some luck, the Gubernatorial races in a week will go better from that perspective. The project as a whole, however, has been a tremendous success. While this was politically the highest-stakes day for Nigeria, the most difficult one for NDI and Swift Count will be the next. We're doing 6 concurrent PVTs. Unprecedented, as far as I know. READ MORE »

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