By Lincoln G. Peters
Several Liberians residing in Monrovia have expressed displeasure over what they said was a poor turnout in the presidential run-off election, despite voting centers opening early on Tuesday, 14 November 2023.
Incumbent President George Manneh Weah and his archrival Amb. Joseph Nyumah Boakai, the country former vice president, met for the second time in a run-off on Tuesday.
During the voting exercise Tuesday, our report visited several polling places in Montserrado County Electoral District #4, #15 and #16.
During the tour, our report discovered from polling places and precincts visited that ballot boxes, and National Elections Commission staffs arrived very soon and opened polling places within time.
But our reporter also observed that from 6:30 a.m. up to 4:30 p.m., polling places in those districts had low turnouts.
Speaking in an interview with this paper at the Samuel T. Kun School in Logan Town, Patience Nagbe said she was concerned about the poor turnout.
She however blamed the trucking of voters for the reported low turnout in the run-off.
“The first time we voted here it was not even easy to get in to cast your vote. We even opened polling place here almost 11pm, but today, see how the place is empty,” said Ms. Nagbe.
“People are just coming in few instead of numbers. But again we know that people were trucked and they are not able to come back that’s why the turnout is low,” she noted.
Vision for Liberia Transformation Party (VOLT) standard bearer Dr. Jeremiah Z. Whapoe also spoke to journalists after casting his vote at the Morris’ Farm, Montserrado County.
Dr. Whapoe expressed displeasure over the poor turnout of voters, terming it a setback to democracy and a justification that Liberia’s political system and electorate are influenced by finance.
He suggested that there should be legislation enacted by the Legislature to prevent voters trucking, describing it as a bad politic that is contributing to electing wrong leaders across the country.
“We want stringent law to address the issues about voters trucking,” said Dr. Whapoe, adding that Liberia has produced several bad leaders and continue to do so because of this same voters trucking.
Dr. Whapoe also recommended to the National Elections Commission (NEC) to bring about giving people voter registration cards when they have their National Identifications Cards to help address voters trucking.
“Also, let us understand that people are not out here voting because of poor security, and violence across the nation. Some had given up that their votes will not be protected because the Liberian Justice system and political system [are] not good at implementation of laws and so they have decided to stay home,” he noted.