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Even for “Jesus”, no cheating – NEC allays voters’ fear

The New Dawn Liberia The New Dawn LiberiaAs eyebrows continue to be raised at the excess ballots brought into the country by  the National Elections Commission or NEC, candidates, voters and Liberians at large have been assured that the Commission has no space to “cheat even for Jesus Christ”  if he were to contest in the upcoming 2014 Special Senatorial Elections.

The National Elections Commission, through Commissioner Sam Joe, said its attribution to “Jesus Christ” is a clear demonstration of its commitment and preparedness to conduct a free, fair and transparent election in Liberia. 

The Commission told a news conference on Monday that there were already Two Million, Six Hundred and Forty ballots in the country for the Special Senatorial elections, while 1.9 million voters were registered to participate in the voting.

NEC, through Commission Joe, further  indicated that there were over 700,000 extra ballot papers here- a figure at which  many Liberians were raising ‘eye-brows’, wondering whether such a huge number of excess ballots would not create room for cheating.

But responding to a local newspaper story on Tuesday at its headquarters in Sinkor in Monrovia, Commission Joe assured that there were mechanisms and structures in place at the commission to ensure a fair, free and transparent process for every candidate, and that there’s no room for cheating even “for Jesus Christ”- the Son of God, further  assuring that the electoral processes of the Liberia is well managed through the Commission’s structures and mechanisms, as well as emphasizing that every candidate will be treated on equal basis devoid of favoritism.

According to him, the excess ballots are intended to replace spoiled ballots as a result of movement from one point to another or by voter’s mistakes while casting their votes.

Commissioner Joe noted that the senatorial elections will widely be monitored by both local and  international observers, as well as the media and representatives of political parties  and independent  candidates at every polling center, reassuring that with such reliance, the issue of cheating as is being perceived in certain is totally out of the way as far the holding of elections for the Liberian people was concerned.

Meanwhile, NEC announced that the deployment of ballot papers and other sensitive election materials to the 1,780 polling precincts nationwide will commence on December 13, 2014.

The commission, through its Chairman, has also announced that logistical preparations for any given election have peculiar challenges. These challenges, he said, are further exacerbated during this critical period of the nation’s history when owners of flights and ships were showing reluctance to the difficulties in getting materials to Liberia.

In view of the foregoing, the Commission had to move swiftly to complete arrangements for the procurement of election materials from overseas for the special senatorial elections.  The commission announced that five thousand election kits procured internationally have arrived in country, while the Packaging of materials for the 4,701 polling places was ongoing.

According to Chairman Jerome Kokoyah, distribution of these materials to the various county warehouses will commence on November 23, 2014, while deployment of polling kits to the various polling precincts will begin on December 13, 2014.

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