Monday, 16th May 2022
<To guardian.ng
Search
Breaking News:

Approaches, strategies in election forensics investigations – Part 5

By Oluwatoyin T. Ogundipe and Adebayo Akinade
28 January 2022   |   2:49 am
This measures whether the mean of values geographically close to observation I differs from the overall mean. To test whether each Gi value is significantly larger or smaller

[FILES] INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu. Photo; FACBOOK/INECNIGERIA

Continued from yesterday

Getis-Ord Gi: HOTSPOTS: This measures whether the mean of values geographically close to observation i differs from the overall mean. To test whether each Gi value is significantly larger or smaller than would be expected by chance, we use permutation test methods to estimate p-values.

The p-values are corrected for multiple testing using false discovery rate procedures for the test levels a shown in Figure 1 (α = .01, α = .05 and α = .1).

Local Moran’s Ii: local spatial clustering: This measures whether the value at observation i differs from the mean of values geographically close to observation i. To test whether each Ii, value is significantly larger or smaller than would be expected by chance, we use permutation test methods to values. P-values are corrected for multiple testing using false discovery rate procedures.

Significance levels refer to tests adjusted for the false discovery rate. This figure displays the legend for subsequent hotspot maps. Red colors show areas where local average scores are significantly above the overall average. Blue colors show areas where local average scores are significantly below the overall average.

The foregoing is not an exhaustive listing of all the methods that have been proposed to detect election frauds, but these are the methods on which we have focused. In seeking to diagnose “where election frauds occur” our aim is to specify the particular geographic locations of the frauds. If data about the counts of voters and vote choices are adequate, then the finite mixture likelihood method allows us to estimate probabilities that. Frauds occur at each observation for which we have data. Other methods allow us to estimate where there are geographic clusters of indicators that may suggest that frauds occurred. The various kinds of measures related to different aspects of the elections. The variety of measures can help us to address the most important challenge involved in election forensic analysis, namely, the difficulty of distinguishing effects of frauds from effects of strategic behavior such as strategic voting. Some methods that may be sensitive to fraud are also sensitive to strategic behavior.

Extensive evidence shows the second significant digits of precinct-level. (Polling station-level) vote counts respond to many different kinds of strategies. Measures of the two kinds of “frauds” in the finite mixture model have also been found to be related to measures of strategic behavior. How other methods such as assessing whether last digits have a uniform distribution relate to strategic behavior has not yet been studied very extensively. The coincidence of both ambiguous measures and measures that may not be as ambiguous can help increase confidence in a diagnosis that frauds occur. But “signaling” patterns arise only given particular kinds of frauds, so the absence of such patterns is not evidenced that there are no frauds. Beyond urging caution about strategic behavior potentially being confused for Fraud and reminding the reader about the possibility of other reasons for false-positive indications of frauds, we repeat a final overall caveat: some fraudulent activities may not be detected using these methods. These techniques can also produce false negatives. The reliability of the techniques is a matter we are investigating in continuing research.

Forensic investigation in election malpractices
According to Brian and Spaord (2003), forensic investigation is a process that uses science and technology to develop and test theories, which can be used in the court of law, to answer questions about events that occurred. The requirements for presenting digital evidence in a court of law are court specific. This conceptualization suggests that forensic investigation involves the use of technology to test and retest or even affirm the situation or the result of an event. It is pertinent to state that in the conduct of a forensic investigation of any kind, preparation is paramount and key to the conduct of a successful forensic investigation. According to Kohn et al (2006), whereas preparation is important in the conduct of a successful forensic investigation, it is practically impossible to scientifically prepare for all kinds of occurrences that may warrant forensic investigation, however, past cases and previous complete resolution may not be adequate but could go a long way to helping in forensic investigation.

Baryamureeba and Tushabe (2004) argued that an ICT driven forensic investigation methodology has three basic components. They are: acquiring the evidence; authenticating the evidence, and analyzing the data. In electoral management parlance, acquiring evidence on the case (s) under investigation, authenticating evidence acquired primarily for the investigation and analyzing and sorting of data gathered from the investigation on a particular election trial is imperative for the successful conduct of forensic investigation in an ICT driven electoral process.

The United States of America’s Department of Justice argued that forensic investigation should involve four stages. These stages are collection, examination, analysis and reporting, (Reith et al 2002). This model is suitable for ensuring justice in electoral cases as there should be adequate documentation that will ensure reporting to the public on electoral matters. It is pertinent to underscore the importance of reporting in this paper because, the use of ICT promotes the privacy of electorates, and however, it should be designed to reflect transparency and accountability in justice delivery.

According to the Digital Forensics Research Workshop, the digital forensic investigation involves the use of scientific methods to preserve, collect, validate, identify, analyze, interpret, document and present digital evidence generated from digital sources for the primary purpose of facilitating and enhancing the reconstruction of events found to illegal or helping to pre-empt unauthorized actions.

Although, forensic investigation is the umbrella concept, however, in discussing the use of ICT in the electoral process, digital forensic science is needed for quality and sustainable conduct of successful forensic investigation at all levels of government.

Electoral politics and electoral fraud: the Nigerian experience
The history of electoral politics is synonymous with electoral fraud in Nigeria. Thus the two, electoral politics and fraud are almost like siasme twins. Although, political analysts have argued that only two elections in Nigeria (1959 and 1979) can be exonerated from “systematic rigging”.

To be continued on Monday
Professor Ogundipe
Toyin60@yahoo.com
Barrister Akinade
bayoakinade@yahoo.co.uk

In this article