Liberian electorate are frustrated over the astronomical invalid votes from the 2017 Presidential and Representatives Elections conducted across the country on Tuesday, 10 October.
The Chairman of the National Elections Commission Cllr. Jerome Korkoya discloses that the total valid votes from the polls as of October 15, 2017 is 1,466,748 (100.0%) while invalid votes is put at * 84,057 and the total votes cast for the presidency is 1,550,805.
Several apparently disturbed citizens speaking to this paper on Monday, October 16, say the National Elections Commission should had conducted more Civic Voter Education programs across the country to adequately sensitize electorate prior to Tuesday’s polls, stressing that this could have reduced the number of invalid votes.
Lenmin Doe of Barnesville Estate laments that the number of invalid votes so far are so huge and it shows that Liberians really need education. “If we were educated [enough] in this country, these amount of invalid votes were not going to take place because they [voters] would have known what to do on the ballots.”
“President Sirleaf was right when she said Liberia Education System is a “Mess”, because we Liberians have proven that it is a mess for real, we need more education in this country, especially we the youth, we play too much and forget about education that is why we have all these invalid votes”, Lenmin further laments.
Another frustrated voter Abel Woods, who says he is in his late 40s, notes that reason for all these invalid votes is because the NEC didn’t do its Civic Voter Education well. He says the failure of the NEC to adequately educate citizens is responsible for the very huge invalid votes being reported from the polls, saying that the people or electorate just went to vote and never knew what to do.
“NEC should had assigned people to every polling center to help people [electorate] when they went behind the cartoon to vote because some people went to vote and marked Joseph Boakai for President, and on the same ballot paper, they marked George Weah as Senator; My nurse went to vote and when I asked her, she said she voted for Joseph Boakai for President and George Weah for Senator”, he explains.
Another citizen James Ben says the NEC supposed to educate the electorate more, especially market women, who don’t know how to read and write, adding that they should had been educated more because they too have the right to vote and vote rightly. Data released by the National Elections Commission as of Sunday, October 15 put the number of voters from Tuesday’s polls at 2,183,629.
The electoral house says of this number, 52 percent or 986,190 are males, while 48 percent or 917,039 are females.
By Ethel A. Tweh-Editing by Jonathan Browne