By Bridgett Milton
Huge turnout marked Tuesday’s election in Montserrado, particularly within electoral district#17 amid slow-paced performance by poll workers.
Some residents of the district at Lott Carey School which contains six polling places expressed disappointment in the way the process was conducted.
Eddie Kamara, told this paper that he was very disappointed in the performance of NEC staffers.
He recalls that in previous elections, the voter roll was posted right outside the polling center to enable voters to know where they are supposed to cast their ballots.
He notes that this time around, the voter roll is placed inside the center thus, making it difficult for them to cast their votes easily.
Kamara complains that they also faced challenges in the way NEC staff and security personnel organized the queues in the polling stations.
“There is no queue set up here; we don’t even understand the way they are during the queue and there is no understanding”, he says.
Also speaking, a representative candidate from the district also complains of the NEC staffers’ performance, noting that in some polling places, queues were not in order and the process was very slow, discouraging more citizens from standing in the hot sun to vote.
However, NEC Presiding Officer at the Lott Carey Mission School, Edwin Mends-Cole, counters that electorates were instructed to get in queue, but they refused, making it difficult for them.
Mends-Cole explains that the reason why the voter roll is placed inside the polling center is to protect it from heavy downpour because it has been raining days prior to the poll.
Deputy Minister of Information Atty. Daniel C. Gayedyu, Jr., speaking at the Jimmy K. Duegbh School in Brewerville where he had gone to vote, says he stood in the queue for a very long time, because the process was very slow.
Gayedyu notes that one reason for the slowness is because he thinks the NEC staffers were not up to the task, particularly in finding voters’ names on the voter roll.
According to him, the staffers were trained but he doesn’t know why they behaved like they don’t know what to do.
He adds at the center he went to vote, polling started 30 minutes late.
This paper also observes that elderly citizens, pregnant women, and people with disabilities were left alone and not accorded preferential treatment in adherence to NEC regulations. Editing by Jonathan Browne