By Naneka A. Hoffman
The National Elections Commission dismisses rumors circulating on social media about pre-marked ballots discovered in Foya, Lofa County as fake news and disinformation campaigns intended to undermine the electoral process and discourage Liberians from turning out to vote.
NEC Chairperson Davidetta Browne Lansanah emphatically clarifies that the Commission did not issue any instruction to pre-mark ballots for the Presidential Runoff Election.
At the same time she says party agents demanding polling staff to read out names of voters prior to voting is not feasible.
Addressing a news conference Tuesday, November 14, 2023, just before polls could close here, Chairperson Davidetta Browne Lansanah, said this is against polling and counting procedures, as it has the propensity to expose voters to undue scrutiny by unauthorized persons, thereby jeopardizing their protection.
Chairperson Browne Lanasnah explains that it also compromises the secrecy of the voting process, and calls on all polling staff involved in calling out voters’ names to desist.
The NEC boss categorically denies and rejects reports that the Commission has signed a MoU with political parties in the Presidential Run-off Election to call voters’ names and check them against the Final Registration Roll issued to them as such practice is against the NEC’s polling and counting procedures.
Meanwhile, she discloses that all ballots deployed to the magisterial offices and onward to 2,080 precincts and 5,890 polling places remained intact for the 14 November election.
Chairperson Browne Lansanah calls on all political party agents, electoral actors, and stakeholders to desist from getting involved in illegal and disinformation campaigns that have the propensity to not only undermine the credibility of the electoral process but to even threaten the peace and stability of Liberia.
She notes that temporary staff conducting the polls are instructed to remain within the scope of the procedures they learned during training for the Presidential Run-off Election.
She urges all Liberians to remain peaceful and wait for announcement of results from across the country that begins today, Wednesday, with Monsterrado County’s votes being counted at the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Ministerial Complex in Congo Town
She assures that the Commission remains committed to ensuring that every vote coming in is counted just the way it was cast. Editing by Jonathan Browne