By: Laymah Kollie
Sinkor -April 17,2023-WTVNEWS: Preliminary Statistics from the National Elections Commission Phase one Biometric Voters Registration conducted in 6 counties indicate low turnout and participation of women in the process.
Of the total one million four hundred thirty-five thousand two hundred and nine (1,435,209) registered voters, women represented seven hundred eleven thousand four hundred and ten (711,410) unlike men with (723,799).
The phase one stats of low women participation contrast the over half of the population of women in Liberia.
Women constitute 11% of the National Legislature, amounting to 2 in the Liberian Senate and 9 in the House of Representatives. Women have been encouraged to lead up in the BVR process to ensure equal participation in decision making.
The NEC results represented
six of Liberia’s fifteen Counties including Montserrado, Bomi, Margibi, Gbarpolu, Grand Bassa and Grand CapeMount counties comprising one thousand sixty-five (1,065) registration centers as the phase two is expected to commence shortly. The process began from March 20th to April 10, 2023.
Phase one BVR was marred by challenges and irregularities ranging from malfunctioning of BVR equipment to double registration of some voters.
Some women who avoided the BVR process in the phase one counties attributed their decision to the long waiting lines, and snare pace posture by NEC staff during the process. Additionally, some indicated that their involvement would not matter amid the current hardship and economic conditions of the country.
The NEC Stats revealed that Sixty four thousand three hundred and ninety-five (64,395) represented from Bomi, Fifty thousand eight hundred and eighty-seven (50,887) from Gbarpolu , one hundred seven thousand seven hundred and twelve (157,712) from Grand Bassa, and eighty six thousand five hundred and eighty-nine (86,589) from Grand Cape Mount County. Also, one hundred eighty four thousand four hundred and twenty-five(184,425) enumerated from Margibi with eight hundred ninety one thousand two hundred and one (891,201) from Montserrado County.
The NEC has further stressed that the figures are subjected to changes as deduplication and adjudication exercises are still in progress. Further, the elections house stated that political parties and other stakeholders were invited to observe the deduplication and adjudication exercise, which is intended to identify and crash out multiple registration during the process.
“This figure is subject to change due to the ongoing deduplication and adjudication process.”
Deduplication and adjudication of the voter registration records from the six counties in Phase One has begun at the Data Center. The aim of this exercise is to remove all instances of multiple registration and other data cleaning processes.
Meanwhile, the NEC assured the public of its preparedness to conduct phase two of the Biometric Voter Registration exercise in the remaining nine counties in the country.
The deployment of BVR kits and all materials had left NEC Headquarters Warehouse for their respective destinations in central, north and southeastern
to designated counties with Civic and Voter Education campaign (CVE)for remaining counties being officially launched on 15th April in Ganta, Nimba County.
However, the NEC is encouraging the full participation of all Liberians for the remaining phase two of the BVR by using the online portal and or centers in their communities.
Phase two of the Biometric Voter Registration will take place in central, northern and Southeastern parts of Liberia which includes: Bong, Grand Gedeh, Grand Kru, Lofa, Maryland, Nimba, River Gee, River Cess and Sinoe.
The Registration exercise is expected to begin Friday 21st April and ends 11th May 2023.