By R. Joyclyn Wea
The National Elections Commission (NEC) has linked the huge invalid votes from the 10th October 2023 presidential and legislative elections to a limited budget as one of the impediments.
Invalid votes amount to 114,639 of the total of 1,949,155 votes cast during the first round of elections. “I would like to say that when we formulate the budget to address most of these things, those of us who criticize now should be the ones to say to the Legislature to give the people the money because every step along the way there are things and we paid for them,” Davidetta Browne-Lansanah said
She furthered, “If we have to go from door to door next time to explain to Liberians how to mark the ballot, we need to be supported financially,” she added.
Lansanah claimed that there are multiple reasons for invalid votes in elections which cut across most African countries mentioned the integration of civic and voter education into the curriculum for all schools is the way through which said issue can be generally addressed.
The NEC chair said, “The number of ballot papers given to voters some were confused and did not know what to do, it looked too much for them, so they floored them without marking them. Invalid votes also come about when Liberians decide to be vexed with a candidate they do not like and mark the person’s face all over I’m saying this because we have done a survey before and we saw some of the things Liberians put on some of the faces of some of those candidates they don’t like.”
She noted that the commission being criticized for not doing enough CVEs to ensure that voters know how to mark the ballot the way they are to is something they are going to improve on.