The audit mission of the electoral register, financed by the Federal Republic of Germany and the European Union through the project of Support to the electoral process in Senegal (PAPES) implemented by the European Center for Electoral Support (ECES ), was completed on 27 February 2018, with the official submission of the final report to the Minister of the Interior and Public Security, Aly Ngouille Ndiaye and plenipotentiaries of the lists.
The Electoral File Audit Mission (MAFE) 2018 was carried out in line with the Terms of Reference defined by the December 2017 Electoral Process Concertation Framework (CCPE), which foresaw 30 days to complete the audit and identified the following main objectives:
- Respond to the various questioning of electoral actors and citizens about the process of redesigning and renewing the ECOWAS biometric identity card to be used as a voter's card;
- Identify the strengths and weaknesses of the current voter registration system and identify the corrective measures to be applied;
- List the anomalies identified by the various actors and determine the corrective measures to be taken;
- Make recommendations to improve the functioning of voters’ registration, electoral operations and voters’ identification system.
The team of experts was recruited through an international call for applications launched on 22 December 2017 and widely disseminated though the ECES networks and the international community.
The mission team consisted of:
Mr. Pierre Weiss (French national), team leader and legal expert, with solid electoral experience in French-speaking Africa and Senegal, in particular. Mr. Weiss coordinated the mission and provided legal expertise through a study of the legal framework and a comparative analysis of the international standards applicable to national laws on the reform of electoral register.
Mr Seraphin Kouaho (French-Ivorian nationality, IT expert with consolidated expertise in electoral information system, civil status, identification systems, biometric and alphanumeric census, development and audit of the electoral register. Since 2006, Mr. Kouaho has worked in many countries such as Côte d'Ivoire, Guinea Conakry, Togo and the Democratic Republic of Congo. In addition to this, he also participated to the audit of the electoral register of Senegal of 2010, in view of the 2012 presidential elections. Within the context of the 2018 audit, he contributed with his specific skills in civil and electoral register database and with his knowledge of the country's electoral context. Based on his previous experience, he also ensured the application of a methodology similar to one used in 2010 and in line with the expectations set out in the 2017 ToRs.
Mr. Fabien Marie (French-Haitian nationality), electoral expert, specialised in information systems and biometrics with specific skills in operational framework of governmental projects to support registers of computerized marital status, eIDs (electronic identity cards), AFIS, eVisa studies, enlistment and population registers and biometric identity. Mr Marie has been working abroad for nearly 20 years, including within projects in Benin, Guinea Bissau, Côte d'Ivoire, Togo, Gabon, DR Congo and many other countries, in Africa and elsewhere. In the context of the audit of the 2018 voter roll, he contributed to the analysis of all processes, information systems and in particular the use of technologies related to biometrics.
Mr. Alfa Pama (Togolese nationality), electoral expert specialised in information systems, including database, networks and infrastructures, data-center, techniques and technologies for biometric registration. Mr. Pama has more than 15 years of experience in audit, management and information systems, project management and IT work within international organisations. During his professional career, he worked as IT expert in many African countries including Mauritania, Guinea Conakry, Benin, Togo and Burkina Faso. In the context of this mission, he provided IT expertise and data analysis.
The Audit Mission of the Electoral File (MAFE) 2018 was inspired by the methodology applied during the MAFE 2010-2011,including:
- compare and cross-checks national ID card database with the ECOWAS card personalization / distribution databases;
- performing analysis of all databases related to biometrics (AFIS). This was not done in 2010 due to restricted access, which allowed to perform an analysis only on a limited sample of data.
During the mission, a steering committee and a technical committee were set up to monitor the audit work.
The Steering Committee, chaired by the National Independent Electoral Commission (CENA) provided a framework for information and exchange on audit’s operations and provides guidance in line with the strategic objectives of the mission. The committee met on 25 January, 6 February and 13 February 2018 in presence of CENA’s representatives, the administration, the opposition, theruling-party, the non-aligned, the organisations of the civil society and technical and financial partners.
The Technical Committee, chaired by the Mission’s Team Leader, provided a framework for information and exchange on the technical aspects of the voter roll’s audit. The committee met on 2 and 13 February 2018 in presence of representatives of the Directorate General of Elections (DGE), technical staff of the Directorate of File Automation (DAF), CENA’s computer experts, technical representatives of the coalitions of political parties and civil society organisations.
The audit mission used a rigorous methodology of events’ chain analysis, which allows a petitioner to appear or not, on the provisional and then on the final voters’ list. The problems and errors identified by the audit are the results of analysis of conformity and coherence on all the data collected, then processed and interpreted. This process allowed to obtain a set of figures such as the different quantities and types of problematic recordings then the errors and incompleteness rates on the electoral register.