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National ID removed from 2023 election process

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Kruah Thompson (Intern)

The National Identification Registry (NIR) will not be involved in generating the Voter Role for the 2023 election, according to NIR Executive Director Mr. Tiah Nagbe.

Since March 2016, NIR has been in consultation with the National Elections Commission (NEC), the Liberian Legislature, Finance, and Development Planning, and other key stakeholders of the government to use their system in generating voter rolls for the 2023 Elections.

However, Mr. Nagbe said the passive registration is the best-known practice for the registration of voters globally, adding that it reduces the cost of election and can also address many other issues relating to the conduct of free and fair elections.

He recalled that the European Union Commission recommended this approach in the post-2017 election reports, while the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has said that many Liberians who are involved with elections want this system.

Additionally, Mr. Nagbe noted that the Carter Center has also advised that Liberia move to this system carefully.

Meanwhile, the NIR boss apologized to citizens whose expired National ID cards have not been renewed due to difficulties in obtaining blank ID cards and printing supplies.

He said the process is expected to start in October, and that cards that show expired dates of 31 October 2020 are valid and will remain valid up to 31 December 2021.

On the issue of Sim Card registration, Mr. Nagbe said Sim Cards owners have been receiving messages informing them to update their Sim Cards registration using their national registration card.

In July 2021, the NEC Board of Commissioners, the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning along with the NIR management team, appeared before the Liberia Senate Committee to make a case for passive voter registration in generating voter rolls for the 2023 Elections.

At the hearing before the Senate in July, the Minister of Finance Samuel Tweh informed the Senate that the National Identification Registry will not be involved in creating the voter roll for the 2023 Elections.

He said the government took that position because the time is not sufficient for election stakeholders to fully understand and accept the major change.

Also, Minister Tweah informed the Senate of the government’s decision in making sure that this be the last time to kick the can along the road, assuming that all Liberian and foreign residents will be registered before the end of 2023, allow for migration to passive voter registration.https://thenewdawnliberia.com/the-national-registry-should-do-better/–Edited by Winston W. Parley

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