Ahead of the July 29, 2019 Montserrado County Electoral District#15 and Senatorial by-elections, the National Elections Commission releases guidelines for the polls.
As was revealed by this paper about a new elections’ date for July 29, the National Elections Commission confirms the new date for the combined Montserrado County Senatorial and District #15 Representative By-elections is Monday, July 29, 2019.
Addressing a news conference here Monday, July 22, at NEC headquarters in Monrovia, NEC Chairman Cllr. Jerome George Korkoya says the names of all voters appearing at a polling place will be called aloud; if any party/candidate agent is not convinced that the name called is on the voter register, that agent shall have the opportunity to verify the name on the voter roll in the hand of the voters identification officer (VIO).
Chairman Korkoya further explains party/candidate agents shall have the opportunity, in the interest of time, to select at most two of their colleagues to sit with the VIO to verify the names of voters as they arrive at the polling place;
He says let it be known that this procedure will be time-consuming and it might, in some cases, lead to disagreement, but is however necessary for the sake of transparency.
However, the NEC categorically states that only people who have valid registration cards from the 2017 General Elections and whose names are on the Final Registration Roll used for the 2017 elections will be allowed to vote.
“As such, all candidates will be given copies of the voters’ roll on a flash drive. Additionally, for transparency purposes, the Commission will also provide copies of the voters’ roll to stakeholders including the Press Union, Election Coordinating Committee,
Liberia Elections Observation Network, The Carter Center, the European Union; the United States Agency for International Development, the United Nations Development Program, the Inter Religious Council and other partners. This is necessary in order to advert any attempt by anyone or a group of persons to change the list with the aim of undermining the credibility of the electoral process,” he notes.
Cllr. Korkoya adds that political actors also have the right under the laws to observe various aspects of the electoral process.
“I encourage political parties and candidates to thoroughly check the voters’ roll and compare with what was given to them in 2017. Besides, we encourage parties/candidates to be fully represented at each polling place on the day of election.”
The NEC boss intimates that as an election management body, they are mindful that the process they manage belongs to the Liberian people, as represented by their political institutions.
He says NEC owes it as a duty to listen to the concerns of the people through their various political parties and take corrective actions where necessary to ensure that all who participate in the electoral process do so with the highest level of confidence in the ability of the Commission to deliver free, fair and credible elections.
“You may recall that in the last weeks, there have been some unfounded speculations from some quarters in the Liberian public about the issuance of new voter ID cards and the possibility of people who are not duly registered to vote in place of registered voters. Even though these kinds of speculations are not possible in the face of the safeguard and control measures we have in place,” he maintains.
Meanwhile, political campaign, which is still in progress, will end at midnight on Saturday, July 27, 2019. By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor–Editing by Jonathan Browne