At this stage there is one fundamental objective – to accurately count the number of votes per candidate. This requires complete objectivity, integrity and total transparency of process. The ballot papers that were completed by the electorate should match the total count in every way.
Being able to validate that the count has been all-inclusive is a key part of the process. That requires all of the processes leading up to the count to have been operating effectively.
“Falsification of results on the other hand is usually effected by the returning officer and his deputy, since they receive and collate results sent from the polling stations. In the Ondo state gubernatorial election, the NPN candidate Chief Akin Omoboriowo was declared elected by the Electoral Commission with 1,228,891 votes as against 1,015,385 votes credited to Chief Michael Ajasin the UPN candidate. The court found that from evidence of the polling and party agents and certification of results signed by assistant returning officers, that Chief Michael Ajasin actually had 1,563,327 votes and Chief Omoboriowo 703,592. Chief Omoboriowo’s score was inflated by 525,389 votes, while Chief Michael Ajasin’s score was decreased by 547,942 votes. The falsification was done at the level of the deputy returning officer.”