Adams B. Steven, an expert in Transport Economics and Supply Chain Management from the University of Maryland, United States, raised concerns about the accuracy of the data published by the National Election Watch (NEW) during a conference held at the Ministry of Information and Communication.
Steven questioned the validity of NEW’s quick count results for the June 2023 elections in Sierra Leone, sparking controversy and doubt among the public.
Speaking as a concerned Sierra Leonean, Steven stated his intention to contribute to the stability of the country by asking critical questions regarding the polling results. He highlighted inconsistencies in the election data purported by NEW and emphasized the need to scrutinize their methods and parameters.
“I am not saying they are wrong; I just want to understand how they arrived at their numbers,” Steven remarked, emphasizing his desire for a comprehensive understanding of NEW’s Observer’s publication.
Despite attempting to contact NEW directly, Steven admitted that he had only come across their data results on social media and had not received any response from the organization. He expressed hope that they would step forward to address his concerns.
Steven proposed a comparative analysis between NEW’s quick count results, believed to have been generated from a limited number of districts such as Kenema and Bo, and an analysis by the National Electoral Commission (NEC). He suggested that if either institution was found to have misled the public, he would take legal action.
During the conference, several officials, including Mohamed Rahman Swaray, welcomed Steven’s PowerPoint presentation. However, some journalists questioned the expert’s position and the introduction of his presentation by the minister.
In response, Steven clarified that his motivation stemmed from his identity as a concerned Sierra Leonean, seeking transparency and accuracy in the electoral process.