By Bridgett Milton
Liberian authorities have split voter registration exercises into two phases for the 2023 presidential and legislative elections because the electoral house says it lacks funding.
National Elections Commission (NEC) chairperson Madam Davidetta Browne-Lansanah has informed members of the House of Representatives of the decision.
“The period for Voter Registration will start on March 20, 2023, and end on May 11, 2023. The Voter Registration will be done in two phases,” she said.
According to her, the NEC requested US$91 million from the Legislature, but the commission did not get that amount.
She said this has caused the NEC to have limited equipment to carry out the registration exercise at once.
After the first group of counties complete their registration, Madam Browne-Lansanah said the equipment will be moved to the other counties to continue the registration process.
She said if you live in Bomi, Gbarpolu, Grand Bassa, Grand Cape Mount, Margibi, and Montserrado Counties, your registration will start on March 20, 2023, and end on April 9, 2023.
For phase two, she said those living in Bong, Grand Gedeh, Grand Kru, Lofa, Maryland, Nimba, River Cess, River Gee, and Sinoe Counties, their registration will start on April 21, 2023, and end on May 11, 2023.
Had the Legislature approved the US$91 million as requested, Madam Browne-Lansanah said it would have helped the NEC to get more equipment.
With limited equipment available, she said the NEC will have to move them from one place to another to carry out the voter registration.
Browne- Lansanah added that the NEC will use a new system called the Biometric Voter Registration System (BVR).
She explained that this new system will be used for voter registration but will not be used for voting.
“Liberians will vote the same way they used to [vote]; there will be no changes on voting day,” she announced.
She further noted that during the BVR, voter ID cards will be given the same day people are registered.
She was asked by Montserrado County Electoral District #2 Representative Jimmy Smith if there will be Liberia Immigration Service (LIS) officers at the voter registration centers.
In response, Madam Browne-Lansanah said LIS will not be a part.