Is “Voters Trucking” Responsible for Low Turnout in Nimba By-Election?

By: Jeremiah Sackie Cooper. Gmail:

Nimba County: It is observed that the April 23, 2024 Senatorial election in Nimba County received a low turnout. The low voter turnout has raised concerns about the citizens appetite for decision making of the electoral process in the Country.

Polls on Tuesday were abandoned with only small number of people showing interest by partaking in the senatorial election in Nimba, Liberia’s second vote rich county.

The Senatorial by-election in Nimba County is as a result of former Senator Jeremiah Koung being elected as Vice President during the October 10, 2023 General Election in Liberia, with two candidates toping the race to replace vice president Koung.

The top two candidates in the Senatorial race are Nya Twayen of the ruling Unity Party and Nimba County District #5 Representative Samuel Kogar of the People’s Unification Party.

The by-election, held to fill a vacant legislative seat in Nimba County, a pivotal region in Liberian politics, was anticipated to draw substantial voter engagement. However, reports from various polling stations indicated a conspicuous absence of voters, leading to an alarmingly low turnout.

Speaking to Women’s TV Liberia, those who have gone to the polls linked the poor attendance to voter trucking.

They noted that several people were trucked into the County to participate in the 2023 Presidential and Legislative Elections but are not present to take part in the by-election.

It can be recalled, during the second phase of the 2023 Biometric Voter Registration exercise, several Liberians residing in Monrovia revealed to Women’s TV that they were being trucked to Nimba County allegedly by Representative Samuel Kogar who is now contesting in the by-election to register in the county.

Speaking to our reporter while in route to Nimba County on the alleged mandate of the Rep. Kogar, some of the voters who chose not to be named said Kogar promised to compensate them with US$40,00 each if they travel to get register in the county.

Commiting on this matter, Representative Samuel Kogar admitted to transporting the eligible voters who according to him are from the Nimba specifically his constituents but do not have any means of going back home to obtain their biometric voter registration cards.
Critics has frowned upon the act of voter trucking questioning its impact on democratic participation and the sanctity of the electoral process.

They have emphasized the need for increased vigilance and oversight to safeguard the integrity of future elections in Liberia. They argue that effective measures must be implemented to prevent any form of electoral manipulation and ensure that the voices of citizens are heard without undue influence.

Critics at the same time argue that voter trucking undermines the principles of fair representation and electoral transparency.

While it is difficult to ascertain the extent to which voter trucking influenced the Nimba by-election, its potential impact cannot be overlooked.
Voter trucking, a term used to describe the practice of transporting individuals from one area to another to influence election outcomes, has been a subject of contention in recent Liberian politics.
Voter trucking violates session 10.2A of the election law of Liberia.

During the 2023 Biometric Voter Registration exercise, National Election Commission disclosed that the commission continues to receive reports of voter trucking in several parts of the country.

“NEC has received a report of incidence of violence related to trucking of voters and the control of crowds. The commission appreciates the effort of the joint security of it responding to the incidence”.

“We call on Liberians not to do trucking. Trucking takes away from the population of where they reside and shift it to another registration or another locality or another county” NEC Chair Person Davidetta Browne Lansanah said.

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