NEC begins mock BVR exercise
By: Emmanuel wise Jipoh
The National Elections Commission (NEC) commences trial exercises in the usage of the newly introduced Biometric Voter’s Registration (BVR) process.
The Commission says the mock voter registration exercise is intended to train new recruits and staffers and as well educate citizens about the BVR, ahead of official opening of the National Biometric Voter’s Registration period.
Henry Boyle Flomo, director of communication at NEC, told reporters covering the experiment held at Garzon Public School, Firestone Division 16, electoral district#1, Margibi County, that the exercise is intended to fully prepared the Commission for the actual voter’s registration that starts on March 30th.
He says the exhibition is in time to enable NEC carefully observes the process in order to address all errors or lapses before phase one of the actual process that runs from 20th March to 19 April, 2023, covering six counties, while the second phase is slated for is scheduled from 21st April to 11th May, 2023.
Detailing how the BVR exercise works, he explains that the process requires scanning of all 10 finger prints of eligible voters, including capturing of pictures of applicants and their postures, as seen by journalists, and eventually a Biometric voter ID card will be issued them, ahead of the elections in October.
According to Mr. Flomo, the electoral body is seriously working to meet the timeline set for the BVR to avoid any lapses.
He adds that mock exercise is also intended to test the automated Biometric identification system that will be used to identify qualified or registered voters and that the trial started on 24th January with employees at NEC, and will continue with political parties, civil societies, media, among others as of today, Thursday, January 26.
Last September, the Commission announced the introduction of biometric system for the 2023 Voter Registration, to avoid among others, multiple registrations, ensure accuracy of information collected and create voter identification for each voter.
At the same time the NEC communication director dispels fears among citizens that the Commission is heavily relying on the use of National ID Cards as proof of citizenship to qualify for the Biometric Voter Registration.
He says contrary to rumors, requirements include candidates being eligible voters, citizens of Liberia, attain age 18 or above, and should be a Liberian by birth or naturalization, with few evidences such as birth certificates, passports, and National ID cards.
The clarification follows reports that the National Elections Commission has set citizens’ possession of National Identification Cards as a prerequisite to participate in the BVR process. Editing by Jonathan Browne