By: Jeremiah Cooper
The National Election Commission (NEC) has removed over 27,721 illegiable voters form the final voter roll of active eligible voters that were to take part in the October 10, 2023, presidential and legislative elections months after the conduct of the Biometric Voter Registration exercise.
Speaking during a press briefing at the headquarters of the National Election Commission in Monrovia, the Chairperson of the NEC, Davidetta Browne Lasanah noted that of the initial provisional result of 2,498,904 earlier released by NEC, 27,721 were removed from the voters roll after the exhibition process due to illegal acts.
Out of the 27,721 removed registered voters, 27,192 have duplicated records, while 529 were suspected underage registrants.
“The NEC from 12 to 17 June 2023 conducted the exhibition of the provisional registration roll from the 20 March to 11 May 2023 voter registration exercise. Before the exhibition, the NEC announced a preliminary figure of 2,498,904, of which 27,192 duplicate records were identified while 529 suspected underage registrants were flagged, and the total active registrants was 2,471,183. Both active registrants and suspected underage registrants were exhibited during the period stated above”, she added.
The NEC boss said that due to the removal of illegal registrants from the voter roll, only the total active registered voters of 2,471,183 will go to the polls in October.
“Distinguished stakeholders, fellow Liberians, the Commission, having concluded the exhibition, deduplication and adjudication process of the 2023 Biometric Voter Registration provisional registration roll, I am pleased to announce the final figures of registered voters that will participate in the 10th October 2023 General Elections as Two Million Four Hundred Seventy-one Thousand Six Hundred Seventeen (2,471,617). This number represents One Million Two Hundred Thirty-seven Thousand Two Hundred Fifty-seven (1,237,257) Females and One Million Two Hundred Thirty-four Thousand Three Hundred Sixty (1,234,360) Males. Detailed disaggregation of these figures is available”.
Madam Brown-Lassanah recounted that the exhibition process was done in a fair manner free from any manipulation.
“The Commission on 13 July 2023 demonstrated to the National Steering Committee on Elections (NSCE) the results of the exhibition exercise and provided information to that committee on how the deduplication and adjudication processes were conducted”.
The National Steering Committee on Elections (NSCE) is chaired by the Minister of Justice and Co-chaired by the ECOWAS Commission Resident Representative in Liberia and the United Nations Resident Coordinator in Liberia.
She further said that a similar exercise was conducted by NEC for political parties under the Inter-Party Consultative Committee on July 14, 2023, for the demonstration of the exhibition process.
The 2023 biometric voter registration exercise began on March 20 2023 and ended on April 9 2023 across the 15 counties of Liberia.
Meanwhile, the NEC Chairperson also disclosed that Thousand Thirty (1,030) aspirants have submitted their nomination documents to the Commission to contest the October 10 general election.
The release shows that of the 1,030 aspirants that submitted their documents to the NEC during the candidate’s nomination process, only 159 are females while 871 are males.
“Of this number, One Hundred Fifty-nine (159) constituting 15 per cent are females while Eight Hundred Seventy-one (871) or 85 per cent are males”
She recounted that independent aspirants account for 199 constituting 19 per cent while aspirants for political parties/coalitions/alliances are 831 amounting to 81 per cent.
The NEC boss at the same time stressed that the provisional and final list of candidates qualified to contest the elections will be released in line with the electoral calendar.
“As per the electoral timeline, a provisional list of candidates will be published on 18 July 2023 and the final list will be published on 5 August 2023”, she said.
The Candidate’s Nomination Process begin on June 14, 2023 and ended on July 14 2023 at the Samuel Kanyan Doe Sports Complex in Paynesville, Montserrado County.
This is the first time that the Liberian National Election Commission is transitioning from outmode optical mark recognition to biometric voter registration where unique physical human information which includes fingerprints and standardized photographs.