By: Perry B. Zordyu Email: email@example.com
Over 10 million ballot papers for the conduct of the October 10 Presidential and Legislative Elections have arrived in the country and are expected to be distributed to various counties in the coming days.
The ballot papers which arrived two weeks to the elections have been categorized into presidential, senatorial, and representative categories.
NEC Chairperson Davidetta Browne-Lansanah said, of the 10 million ballot papers, 3,320,500 have been put aside for presidential candidates, while 3,402,122 for senatorial candidates and 3,403,208 for representative candidates.
Madam Browne-Lansanah stated that the ballot papers are in secure storage under the protection of state security. She disclosed that the deployment of ballot papers and other sensitive election materials to the 2,080 polling precincts nationwide will commence in the next few days.
According to her, the electoral body is committed to ensuring that each part of the country’s 15 political sub-divisions with polling precincts receive their ballot papers on time for the smooth conduct of what she described as free, fair, and democratic elections.
“Assorted election materials, including ballot boxes, precinct kits, tactile ballot guides, indelible ink, and assorted stationery procured internationally have arrived in the country, the NEC boss added.
She noted that packaging of materials for polling places began about two weeks ago and is currently ongoing adding that distribution of just arrived materials will commence in the next few days
The NEC boss commenting on the Final Registration Roll; said the Commission is already grossly behind schedule but claimed that the Commission’s employees are working very hard to print the roll and make it readily available in time for the October 10 polls.
“NEC staff are working day and night to ensure that materials are deployed in time for the October 10 elections, especially given the challenges with delivery of those materials to some parts of the country and that the FRR for the 2023 Presidential and Legislative Elections will be made available to all political parties, independent candidates, and other stakeholders upon completion of the ongoing process to secure the data,” Browne-Lansanah maintained.
At the same time, the head of the Liberian electoral body has reaffirmed transparency and credibility in the elections adding that the Voters’ Roll will be posted at all polling precincts across the country prior to Election Day.
In a related development, with less than two weeks to the most anticipated Presidential and legislative Elections, the African Union (AU) has deployed two data management experts to Liberia in ensuring credible, free and fair elections.
The experts who would be working with the NEC’s data team presence in the country come to the country based on a request made by NEC Chairperson, Davidetta Browne-Lansanah as part of a request to build confidence in the electoral process.
“These experts are deployed at the NEC Data Center to work with the NEC Data Center staff as a way of lending further credibility and transparency to the management and security of the electoral database”. NEC Browne-Lansanah added.
Madam Davidetta Browne-Lansanah stated that African Union is also hiring three vehicles for rough terrain.
She said with the help of the two data experts, she is confident that the elections will certainly be conducted in a free, fair, credible, and transparent manner for all.
The NEC boss stressed that ECOWAS as a sub-regional body is also expected to do same anytime soon.
At the same time, the head of Liberia’s electoral body noted that ECOWAS is procuring some computers and printers for election results management as well as assisting with the Commission’s voter education and gender outreach efforts and logistics, including the purchase of four vehicles for rough terrain.
Meanwhile, Madam Browne-Lansanah did not state the names of those experts but assured the public of trust and confidence in the electoral process and with the accompanying of those data experts, the process will widely be seen and be graded as the most transparent election Liberia has ever had since the unrest of the civil war.