The Bureau of Statistics (BoS) has said that if the Guyana Elections Commissions (GECOM) needs assistance with “Data Science”, it is ready to help.
An official from BoS said that it has the expertise of both young and senior statisticians if GECOM requires.
But GECOM will have to write to BoS indicating the need for assistance and the specific areas that the Elections Commission is unable to resolve.
Recently, it was reported that GECOM had observed striking disparities in the cross-matched data that returned from overseas supplier, Gemalto.
Gemalto is an international digital security company, contracted by GECOM to cross-match the house-to-house data.
But to GECOM’s surprise the cross-matched data sent back appeared to indicate that there are about 60,000 new registrants. This unusually high figure prompted GECOM to do its own assessment of the cross-matched data.
It was then found that about 17,000 of those supposedly new registrants are already on the National Register of Registrants Database (NRRDB).
The findings sparked a belief that the cross-matching job was flawed. This issue had also raised concerns and doubts about the integrity of the house-to-house data.
The other concern highlighted was the amount of unverified registrants who came forward to claim their identities.
The GECOM Commissioner, Vincent Alexander, had said that only 300 persons had uplifted their ID cards out of the 18,000 names published in the daily newspapers.
Alexander had also said that unreported deaths might be a contributing factor for the ID cards not collected.
However, “Peeping Tom” suggested in one of his columns that GECOM can resolve these controversial issues by hiring a qualified statistician.
The Columnist wrote that “GECOM seems to lack an understanding of Data Science” because of the confusion it has found itself in.
It was further stated in the column that the services of a statistician would greatly help to clear up the confusion over the large number of uncollected ID cards and the massive number of “non hits” in the cross-matching exercise.
The columnist explained that as it relates to the uncollected ID cards, a statistician can extract a representative sample from the list and make a physical check on the persons’ addresses. This will verify whether the large numbers of uncollected ID card belong to the dead or people who have migrated.
The column went on to state that “If it is found that there are large numbers of dead persons on this list of the names of uncollected identification cards, and if these names also appear on the Official List of Electors, then it means that the list may be terminally contaminated.”
As it relates to the controversy over the cross-matched data, the columnist iterated that statistical tools can help to determine whether fraudulent registrations were involved or if a problem exists with the cross matching-process.
GECOM told Kaieteur News yesterday that it does not have a qualified statistician. It cannot say if one will be employed at this point in time.
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