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First time voters overwhelm registration centers

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Zealous potential first – time voters and others who may have lost their previous voting cards seem to be overwhelming the National Elections Commission (NEC’s) Voters Roll Update (VRU) centers across Montserrado County, one of the most politically charged counties in the pending 8 December 2020 senatorial polls.

The turnout in drove of young voters turning 18 only highlight the tension that is associated with this year’s senatorial mid-term election.

Only those presenting valid voter cards will be permitted by the NEC to cast their ballots this December across the 15 counties, and so many in their hundreds seem to be trooping at various centers to obtain their voter cards early.

According to official information released by the National Elections Commission, the voter cards replacement process would last for three days at every voting precinct.

Among those trooping at voter roll update centers are voters who participated in the 2017 general and presidential elections that saw a peaceful transition of power from former President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf to former football legend President George Manneh Weah, but later misplaced their cards.

Several voter roll update centers visited by the NewDawn newspaper in Montserrado County were observed to be overcrowded with people, especially women and the elderly to obtain their lost voter cards.

The crowd seems to put pressure on workers at some VRU centers to double up their efforts in replacing lost voter cards.

This paper further observes that some of those seeking replacement of their lost cards did not go to the same centers that registered them during the past election, but are going to different centers that do not have records for them.

Dennis C. P. Waka, a social advocate who is closely monitoring the Voter Roll Update exercises, tells this paper that at one center in Central Monrovia that the NEC needs to release further information to educate voters to go to where they registered during the past elections in order to replace their cards.

Waka notes that NEC workers conducting the VRU process had to temporarily stop the process to ensure that only those who previously registered at a particular center were allowed in the line.

By Emmanuel Mondaye–Edited by Winston W. Parley

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