As part of preparation leading to the conduct of the 2023 Presidential, Representatives and Senatorial Elections, the National Elections Commission (NEC) on Friday March 3, 2022 launched a stakeholders dialogue for the six counties of the first phase of the Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County. Participants were drawn from Gbarpolu, Bomi, Grand Cape Mount, Montserrado and Margibi Counties respectively.
The role of Stakeholders in elections processes are critical to ensure proper information sharing and unilateral decisions.
In a remark marking the formal opening of the stakeholders dialogue on the impending BVR in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County, NEC Co-Chairperson, Cllr. Teplah Reeves noted that the consultation with the stakeholders is a necessary hallmark for a transparent and credible elections in 2023.
Co-Chairperson Reeves described the dialogue as a key medium through which important ideas and misconceptions are resolved due to the critical roles of stakeholders in the conduct of a successful elections.
“NEC is aware that election is the central art of democracy and Election Management Bodies and the people must work together to drive the process with the aim of keeping the peace”, he added.
Cllr. Reeves furthered that credible voter roll will serve as a strong foundation for free, fair and credible elections in October, therefore NEC needs all hand on desk to ensure that the successful implementation of the impending biometric voter registration is secure.
The Buchanan dialogue which brought together over two hundred participants which include youths, women organizations, elders, superintendents, the Liberia National Police and the Media for the first phase of the BVR that is expected to begin on 20 March 2023, sets forth the platform for Liberians of all walks of Life to share notes and get first hand education on the workings and benefits of the new technology.
At the dialogue, the commission demonstrated step by step processes of the BVR, as a means of attracting the full participations of first time voters. Participants were made to physically participate in a mock registration exercise through printed temporary voting cards.
NEC believes that the Friday Buchanan dialogue has reduced the falsehood and misconceptions of some segments of the voting population in Liberia.
This is the first time that Liberia’s National Elections Commission is transitioning from Optional Mark Recognition (OMR) to the Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) where unique physical human information, fingers prints and standardized photographys.
NEC is under ethical and national obligation to educate the citizenry on the use of new technology for the first time in Africa oldest independent nation.