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Editorial: Welcoming assurance from NEC

Liberians seem to have concluded the outcome of the ongoing biometric voter registration being conducted by the National Elections Commission even before the exercise kicked off on March 20, regrettably casting doubt on the Commission’s ability. Some even perceived that the BVR process is meant for NEC to cheat. How absurd!

For strange reasons, we Liberians appear to be obsessed with distrust or cynicism just about everything about ourselves. We believe wrongly that only a process that is driven by people from outside is credible. If we continuously nurture such perception, then there is no need for us to exist as a people, because we don’t believe that anything good can come from us.

Due to such negative thought, the National Elections Commission is constrained to reassure skeptics that the BVR system is designed to detect would-be fraudsters contemplating engaging in double registration for political gain.

“The biometric registration system is designed in a way that any duplicate registration will be detected during the biometric adjudication process through the Central Management System and the voter information of registrants involved will be deactivated”, the Commission has assured in a statement.

The NEC explains that the objective for moving from the Optical Mark Recognition system previously used to the BVR, is to ensure a credible voter roll, void of duplicate registration by recording unique human physical characteristics, including thump or finger prints and facial features.

What more should the Commission do to win and maintain public trust, amidst serious challenges, some of them, beyond its control that seem to be ignored?

It’s about time Liberians believe in themselves and their country, for no matter what goodwill comes from outside, only we can do it for ourselves. This is about a mindset that we must change if this nation should progress.

Lest we are misconstrued, this does not mean where there are problems, they should not be brought to the attention of the Commission for prompt redress. But to insinuate that the five commissioners at NEC, including Chairperson Davidetta Brown Lansana, are figureheads, who do not know what they are doing, is unfair.

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Some even go to the extent of accusing the commission of deliberately denying citizens the opportunity to register on the basis of names. But let’s know that it is within the purview of the commission to investigate suspicious identities in concert with security, including the Liberia Immigration Service. It behooves the bearer of such credentials to prove citizenship with the help of community leaders and elders.

 We must allow the NEC to perform its statutory functions rather than damning and damning! It does not demonstrate patriotism and love for the country. If the NEC succeeds, Liberia succeeds and if it fails, we fail as a nation.

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