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Thursday, April 18, 2024

CITIZENS IN MARGIBI EXPRESS FRUSTRATION WITH NEC WORKERS AT VARIOUS CENTERS 

Date:

By Stanley Kolubah Johnson 

MARGIBI COUNTY – The National Elections Commission kick-started its first-digit voter registration exercise in six of the fifteen counties as phase one of the Biometric Voter Registration for the upcoming General and legislative elections on October 10 of this year.

As the National Elections Commission (NEC) kick-started the Biometric Voters Registration in six of the fifteen counties, several citizens in Margibi have expressed dissatisfaction with the delay of equipment used by NEC workers in various parts of the county and frowned on some NEC workers of their inabilities on the job.

It can be recalled on Monday, March 20, 2023 centers were established in Margibi, Montserrado, Bomi, Grand Bassa, Grand Cape Mount, and Gbarpolu counties respectively, to create a corridor for citizens to exercise Article 1 of the Liberian constitution ahead of October 10 elections.

The citizens said, since the commencement of the Voters Registration exercise they have experienced that the equipment of NEC normally stops operating while thousands of citizens stand in contour to obtain their Voters Registration Cards in the areas.

Meanwhile, the slowness of the registration process has caused citizens to stand in queues for over seven to eight hours while some of them do not receive the Voters Registration Cards. According to citizens, NEC workers at the various centers give some people slips to return the next day to get their Voters Identification Cards leaving the situation to the malfunctioning of the printers and other equipment.

”This new process of voting introduced by NEC is very slow, we sometimes leave our various homes as soon as about 6 am to stand in line just to obtain our Voting ID’s.  The machines NEC workers are using at all of the centers here malfunction every hour after registering five to ten citizens. Even the NEC workers assigned at the centers are not acknowledgeable to the equipment they are using,” the citizens said.

Some citizens in their angry tones further that, due to less education obtained by NEC workers is one paramount reason for the workers’ inabilities during their new transitional method introduced by NEC. The citizens inform the National Elections Commission and the government that if nothing is done to intervene in such a situation the timeline of NEC for the first phase of the BVR process of the six counties will not be successful.

“We will hold NEC for not giving more education to their workers before assigning them on the field to work, and we think this is one of the major causes for some of them not understanding the equipment”.

“If the National Elections Commission and the Liberia Government will not see a reason to act quickly in this situation more Liberians may not register and the time given by NEC will not be successful. They said.”

In the midst of the numerous dissatisfaction expressed in the ongoing Biometric Voter Registration by some citizens in Kakata, supervisors at various registration centers told our correspondent that the BVR is going well and it is the best process since voting started in the country.

After decades of years of voting it is the first time that the Liberian National Election Commission is transitioning from out optical mark recognition to biometric voter registration, which includes a unique physical human body that focuses on fingerprints and standardized photographs are involved.

More citizens hope that the BVR process will alleviate many speculations of fraud in the registration and voting exercise in the country.

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