By: R. Joyclyn Wea
The National Elections Commission (NEC) has released key dates leading to the conduct of the 2023 elections as voter registration exercise rollup December 15, 2022.
The Commission through its Chairperson, Cllr. Davidetta Browne Lansanah in a press conference Wednesday, August 31, 2022 disclosed that it has received US$20 million of the total US$61 million proposed by the Commission for the holding of next year’s elections.
Madam Lansanah claimed that several steps are now taken leading to a successful 2023 Election Financing with the government to adjust the submitted 2023 Comprehensive Election Budget to the US$ 61million.
The US$420,000,000.00 was appropriated and approved in the National Budget for the fiscal year 2022 for the National Election Commission to kick start the process.
This amount the NEC Chair says, represents partial funding to enable the NEC to conduct Voter Registration and other preliminary Electoral activities, noting that the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP) has disbursed to the NEC the amount of US$6million for Election Registration.
Similarly, Madam Browne-Lansanah announced that voter’s registration exercise will begin December 15, 2022, and that it will begin transitioning from the manual Optical mark Recognition Technology for the registration of voters to the Biometric Voter Registration System.
She mentioned the prevention of multiple registrations, accuracy of the information collected for each registered voter, the creation of unique lifetime voter identification for each registered voter, and the eradication of voter impersonation as some of the advantages in the usage of the biometric voter registration system.
“The Removal of Duplicated Records from the Voter Registration System, Eradication of issues related to unintentional errors during the data entry, and methodology for planned BVR and the Registration exercise will begin on December 15, 2022, and ends on March 17, 2023”, she added.
The Commission has divided the country into three regions and centers within these regions will be opened to qualified voters for the period of three weeks.
Registration for region one which includes: Montserrado, Bomi, Gbarpolu and Cape Mount Counties will begin December 15, 2022 and ends January 6, 2023
While Region two which covers Bong, Grand Bassa, Lofa, and Margibi Counties, registration will commence on January 21, 2023 and ends on February 10, 2023.
Registration for Region three: Grand Gedeh, Grand Kru, Maryland, Nimba, River Gee, River Cess and Sinoe Counties will begin February 25, 2023, to March 17, 2023.
The Commission, Lansanah said, will take further steps to publish these key customized software that will be used during the registration exam, setting up of the servers, training of NEC’s staff by the vendor, and the Country of the Biometric Equipment must all be done before the start of the registration.