Setting the record straight about Agora's Misleading headlines on the internet

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A group of Sierra Leoneans who are passionate about open elections data and open data are deeply concerned about the misleading headlines being propagated on the internet by “Agora, a Swiss Lab & Foundation for digital democracy.”

The Sierra Leone National Electoral Commission (NEC) did not officially use Agora’s blockchain technology to vote or tally votes during the March 7th, 2018 general elections held in Sierra Leone.

This can be confirmed by reading the official 2018 Polling and Counting Procedures Manual published by NEC at https://electiondata.io/sites/default/files/2018-02/march-7-2018-polling-and-counting-procedures-manual.pdf Voting in Sierra Leone was a manual paper-based process as outlined in the illustrations below. Counting the ballots was also a manual process.

How to vote

Summary and detail breakdown of the results have been released and a date has been set for the run-off. The official results are available at http://necsl2018.org/election-results/ for your reference. You can check the official website of NEC at http://necsl2018.org for Press Releases. None mention Agora or ‘blockchain’ technology. Agora is claiming undue credit for doing nothing that helped the people of Sierra Leone. As Sierra Leoneans, we find this unethical and insulting to the people of this country.

What Agora did was with access to 250 polling stations in the Western Area of Sierra Leone; out of approximately 11,200 in total (2%)to perform some service. IRN Sierra Leone was the only organization that published election results in near real-time by polling station on the radio and using their web application https://irnelections.org/ a https://elections.sl used a manual process by taking snapshots of official results posted after counting, transformed the data, inputted into its platform, validated, published and automatically tallied the results available at https://app.elections.sl

The results tallied and published by Agora had no impact on the 2018 Elections. They were published around the same time NEC published the first 25% of the presidential election results.

Even the tallying of votes was done manually from polling station data as the diagram below illustrates.

Counting Layout

All we ask for is that the company does the right thing and retract the fake news otherwise we will be forced to take any recourse available to us.

List of Agora Fake News Headlines and Statements

  • Swiss-based Agora powers world’s first ever blockchain elections in Sierra Leone
  • Sierra Leone’s National Electoral Commission introduces Africa’s first ever blockchain elections in collaboration with the Swiss foundation Agora.”,
  • Results of the West Districts were recorded on an unforgeable ledger and are displayed here publicly.
  • Safe storage of election data and public accessibility is opening a new age for voter confidence and democracy itself in Sierra Leone and in the rest of world.

List of Fake News Headlines on the Internet

  • Sierra Leone is the first country to run a blockchain-powered election
  • a. https://thenextweb.com/syndication/2018/03/15/sierra-leone-first-country-run-blockchain-powered-election/
  • The world’s first blockchain-powered elections just happened in Sierra Leone
  • a. https://qz.com/1227050/sierra-leone-elections-powered-by-blockchain/
  • Sierra Leone tests blockchain technology for tallying election results
  • a. http://en.rfi.fr/africa/20180315-sierra-leone-tests-blockchain-technology-tallying-election-results
  • First Results of Sierra Leone's Blockchain Vote Are In
  • a. https://www.coindesk.com/early-returns-sierra-leones-first-blockchain-vote/
  • Sierra Leone just became the first country in the world to let its citizens vote using blockchain
  • a. http://www.businessinsider.com/sierra-leone-blockchain-elections-2018-3
  • Sierra Leone just ran the first blockchain-based election
  • a. https://techcrunch.com/2018/03/14/sierra-leone-just-ran-the-first-blockchain-based-election/
  • Sierra Leone's Blockchain-Based Election Is a Milestone
  • a. https://www.pcmag.com/news/359797/sierra-leones-blockchain-based-election-is-a-milestone
  • Sierra Leone Just Held the World’s First Blockchain-Powered Election
  • a. https://futurism.com/sierra-leone-worlds-first-blockchain-powered-election/
  • The world's first blockchain-powered election just happened in a war-torn, poor country
  • a. http://bigthink.com/news/an-election-just-happened-in-a-war-torn-poor-country-guess-what-they-used-to-cast-ballots

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