“We have Published VR Centers”; NEC Boss Update Stakeholders On Biometric Voter Registration Ahead of 2023 Elections

By: Jeremiah Sackie Cooper Gmail:jeremiahcooper105@gmail.com

Liberia: In preparation of the 2023 Presidential and Legislative Elections, the National Election Commission (NEC) has disclosed to stakeholders that the location of various voter registration centers for the phase one of the first six counties which include Gbarpolu, Bomi, Ground Bassa, Ground Cape Mount, Montserrado and Margibi Counties has been published.

Addressing Stakeholders at the headquarters of NEC on Friday 10, March 2023, NEC Chairperson Madam Davidetta Browne Lansanah said that the commission action is aimed at abiding by 3.2(a) of the new election law of Liberia and will enable voters have easy access to various registration centers across the country.

The Buchanan gathering brought together stakeholders including youths, women organizations, elders, superintendents; the Liberia National Police and the Media ; from the six selected counties captured within the first phase of the Biometric Voter Registration which is expected to begin from 20 March to 9 April 2023.

“We have made public the VR centers and there are 3195 biometric voter registration staffs currently under going training in keeping with session 3.2A of the new elections law of Liberia”, she added.

Chapter 3, Session 3.2(a) of the new elections law of 1986 states that “Not later than two (2) weeks, before the first day of registration, the commission shall publicly advertise by printed notices in news papers where feasible, by posters, placards and by radio and television broadcast and by any means, the lists of the location of places for registration centers in the local communities involved”.

Madam Browne furthered disclosed that the final phase of voter registration materials which include card printers, computers among others items are to arrive in the country in the coming days and will be made available to the public as they seek for a fruitful voter registration process.

The NEC boss said that she is confident and believes that the processes leading to the conduct of the Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) are on course and will be successful.

She also informed stakeholders that there have been several demonstration of the Biometric Voter Registration exercise with political parties, the Liberia Marketing Association and elections stakeholders as it means of testing the BVR process.

“We believe that the BVR process is well tested and ready for implementation. This has helped us to know how the biometric voter registration works”, Madam Browne said.

It can be recalled on Friday, 3 March 2023, the National Election Commission launched stakeholders dialogue in Buchanan, Ground Bassa County.

The NEC Chairperson at the same time told stakeholders that there is an intensive civic voter- education ongoing in the six selected counties chosen for the phase one of the biometric voter registration, noting that this in keeping with the election law of Liberia as it will help educate Liberians on how the voter registration and voting processes are done.

“NEC is doing the Civil Voter Education so that everyone can take part in the elections process, as democracy involves the full participation of every citizens”, she said.

The NEC boss lauded its partners for their support to the commission and assured that the realization of a successful voter registration and elections is the high mark of NEC, as they will leave no stone unturned in achieving this goal.

Meanwhile, the National Election Commission has disclosed that it will introduce a personal data entry portal ahead of the 20 March Voter Registration exercise.

According to NEC, the introduction of the personal data entry portal will help reduce the time taken during the registration process.

NEC clarified that is optional and is in no way a voter registration but intended to speed up the voter registration process.

The NEC furthered that when an individual summits his or her personal data, he or she will just have to go to the nearby voter registration center to get registered and received a value voter card base on the information been provided.

NEC is for the first time transitioning from optional mark registration (OMR) to Biometric Voter Registration (BVR), where unique physical human information, finger prints and standardized photographs will be use.

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