Monrovia – The National Elections Commission’s only anchor on which it hooked its argument in an attempt to rubbish the ‘leaked emails’ suggesting tampering of voter roll has been trashed by an independent Liberian IT expert, as original screen shot of hacked emails show the correct dates and times the emails were sent.
"‘The NEC lawyer confirmed that the numbers attached to voters were similar but with distinction on the age, sex and names."
"He further stated that the entire case is politically motivated and is not in the interest of the country.’ Again this is the specific issue I raised."
"This represented the fundamental flaw in the database architecture. This is never supposed to happen.”
In a tiresome effort to discredit the emails, the National Elections Commission (NEC) Director of Communications, Henry Flomo, pointed to the miss-matched days and dates on the transcribed copy of the email as the solid ground to prove that the emails to and from NEC Chairman, Jerome Korkoya, were fictitious and only intended to plunge the image of the electoral body.
But a Liberian Information Technology expert, a software solutions architect, George K. Fahnbulleh, who has been following the developments from the inception of NEC admission to challenges with their system, informed this paper that his independent expert analysis of the email shows that the wrongful dates contained in what were initially presented to the public was a result of ‘transitional error’.
He challenged NEC to provide all the emails from its sever, if it can defend the falsity of the leaked emails.
A transcription error is a specific type of data entry error that is commonly made by human operators or by optical character recognition (OCR) programs.
Human transcription errors are usually the result of typographical mistakes caused by striking the wrong key on a keyboard, or by striking two or more wrong keys because of finger misalignment with respect to the keyboard.
Electronic transcription errors are generally the result of attempts to scan printed matter that has been compromised, or that is rendered in an unusual font.
Many transcription errors, particularly those involving numeric data, are difficult or impossible to detect.
The transcribed email was erroneously dated Wednesday, July 28, 2017 9:19 PM instead of Wednesday, July 26, 2017 9:19 PM.
The content of the leaked email corroborated allegations of duplication of the voter roll and inflation of number of voters in the voter roll.
The email, which is now raising red flag ahead of the Supreme Court’s final ruling on electoral fraud case, reads as follows:
Good Morning, Chairman,
I hope all is well with you. Last night while backing up the system database and folders, I noticed that there are changes and addition being made to the parent folder of the final voter roster.
The most significant changes of concern to me is the creation of a new voters file with the same exact name as the previous, and the addition of numbers that were not included on the listing we all signoff on few weeks ago.
Most interestingly, the new folder being created mimics some of the same information in the initial parent folder listing.
Going through the new folder, the names, ages, location, sex and location of voters have changed.
Furthermore, the pictures of voters on the new listing do not match what is on the compiled final file of those that registered to vote. I am looking through this more and will provide you with additional information.
In a separate communication dated Thursday, November 9, 2017, Chairman Korkoya wrote a letter to the board of commissioners appearing to acknowledge the problem but cautioning against allow the information to get into the public domain.
Korkoya to Board: ‘Make No Mention of That’
From: Jerome Korkoyah
Subject: Internal and Confidential – Fingerprint Issues
“Please do not speak with the media or anyone concerning voter’s fingerprint inaccuracy. I have not seen this from any of the complainant as part of their evidence and we need to make no mention of that. We will discuss this in our emergency meeting later today.”
According to Mr. Fahnbulleh, the technology expert, the NEC system was so severely flawed to the extent that the Commission could not refute such during the hearing.
Fahnbulleh: "‘The NEC lawyer confirmed that the numbers attached to voters were similar but with distinction on the age, sex and names. He further stated that the entire case is politically motivated and is not in the interest of the country.’
Again this is the specific issue I raised. This represented the fundamental flaw in the database architecture. This is never supposed to happen.
This is like someone from Social Security Administration saying ‘George and Ambrose have the same social security number but the other information is different so it’s fine.’ He served this up on a silver platter.”
Fahnbulleh wondered why the litigants in the electoral fraud case did not seize the flaw to build a stronger case.
In his recent article, Fahbulleh noted that there were more than 15,000 (fifteen thousand) duplicate voter IDs, which he believes was occurred either out of criminality or incompetence.
“Cllrs. Musa Dean and Alexander Zoe, the lawyers representing the National Elections Commission, agreed that there were many challenges, but had taken steps to correct those challenges so that they won’t be experienced in the runoff. "
"They argued that those challenges are not guaranteed for a rerun of the entire elections," he recounted.
Lawyers Missed the Mark?
Further sharing his expert opinion with this paper, Fahnbulleh said lawyers representing the Liberty and Unity Parties could have placed a better argument before the Supreme Court if they had sought the service of forensic experts to analyze data given them on the flash drive.
Fahnbulleh: “In light of this apparently fatal technical flaw, the litigants should have then demanded the NEC freeze the database (by making a certified copy and removing that copy from the premises) and a copy of the database be given to the litigants for inspection.”
According to him, this would have allowed the lawyers to query the database and note all of its design/data flaws.
“The design/architecture flaw here is so severe, it is impossible to believe there are not even more serious flaws in the database.
It is also impossible to know for certain, without an inspection of a copy of the actual database,” he said.
How, if at all, did the NEC correct the problem of 15,000 duplicate voter IDs?
Is there an audit trail which shows how the correction was handled?