By: R. Joyclyn Wea
More citizens of voting age (s) might be denied the opportunity to participate in the upcoming 2023 general elections due to the conditions set up by the elections governing body of Liberia.
Report in the public alleges that no one will be allowed to do their voter registration for the upcoming 2023 elections if such person doesn’t have either of these documents: a passport, birth certificate, or citizen identification card.
Prince Dumbar is the Deputy Public Affairs Director at the National Elections Commission (NEC). When contacted on the information, he did confirm the information.
Dumbar says, there is a list of requirements only for the coming voter registration exercise expected to begin in December 2022.
“A number of these include a valid passport, a valid NIR card, birth certificate, and two elders to stand that you are a citizen, among others,” he told this paper via email exchange.
Dunbar who was out of office at the time of responding to the email promised to send the full document two days ago but failed to do so to date.
Every Liberian citizen, 18 and over, has a constitutional right to vote. All Liberian citizens, whether bonafide or naturalized, can vote. Under Liberian Law also, the National Elections Commission (NEC) is charged of managing all elections in Liberia.
As part of its responsibility, the NEC had set the above condition upon which people of voting age will get registered to make their voices heard in the pending 2023 general elections.
Meanwhile, pundits have expressed graved concern and dismay that either of the provisions (passport, NIR, Birth Certificate) demanded as justification to authenticate the age of a potential voter; while the census exercise has not reached throughout the e country, wherein, every citizen of voting age would be captured, is very troubling, to say the least.
According to pundits, if the census does not live up to its true meaning and value nationalistically, most Liberians might find themselves at a disadvantage which within itself, will be a gross violation of the would-be potential voters’ national and patriotic duty, in keeping with the Constitutional Rights.