Scores of physically-challenged citizens Lower Montserrado County are calling on the National Elections Commission (NEC) to extend the VR update exercise to enable Liberians living with disabilities register to participate in the pending 08 December special senatorial election.
Making the call over the weekend in Mount Barclay, Montserrado County, the President of the M. B. Disables Union, Jefferson Thomas, disclosed that the union has observed that most Liberians living with disabilities have not replaced their voter’s cards.
According to him, there are huge numbers of physically-challenged persons in their vicinity and other parts of Montserrado County who could not get their cards due to serious constrains.
He named some of the constrains as refusal of people who supposed to take them to the VR update centers for registration because they themselves have to go to replace their lost voter’s cards.
Mr. Thomas disclosed that those in such category include blind and handicapped persons whose movement is restricted by their conditions.
Thomas said few days ago, he was contacted by some members of the union in Bentol City, Harrisburg and Mount Coffey respectively, in Lower Montserrado County who are yet to receive replacement cards, something he said, should claim the attention of the National Elections Commission (NEC).
He noted that participation of physically-challenged and visually-impaired citizens in the NEC VR update exercise should be considered by the commission to avoid confusion during the pending senatorial election.
He emphasized persons with disabilities are very key to the electoral process in the country because of their status and physical conditions unlike their counterparts who are physically strong and can see and move by themselves if elections were held today.
The appeal by Thomas was buttressed by several physically-challenged persons, including Kollie Kessessly, Morlu Gbessay and Miama Gboto, who say most of them have not received their replacement cards in preparation for the December polls due to their plight or relocation though they voted in the 2017 presidential elections.
“We have some of our colleagues in other counties who have also complained they have not received their replacement voter’s cards due to what they described as long distances that they have to cover to reach places they registered and voted.
By Emmanuel Mondaye–Editing by Jonathan Browne