Says elections violence cases are being heard at the NEC independent elections hearing office
National Elections Commission (NEC) chairman Jerome G. Korkoya yesterday clarified the commission’s decision to bring in excess presidential ballots for the October 10 elections.
Korkoya’s explanation was in response to comments and questions from the public regarding the commission’s decision to bring into the country an excess of presidential ballots.
At the eighth edition of the NEC’s regular elections press briefing in Monrovia, Korkoya said the commission’s decision to bring in over three million ballots for the presidential elections is not in violation of any election law, neither is it against international standards.
The NEC last Saturday received 3,053,435 presidential ballots printed by a Slovenian company.
Korkoya explained that 550 ballots to a polling center multiplied by 5,390 centers, the total number of ballots papers in the country will be 2,964,500. The balance from 3,053,435, when 2,964,500 is subtracted is 88,935; thereby making the overall excess in presidential ballot papers 869,806.
Korkoya said that there is nothing wrong with printing excess papers, “This number, by practice, we added three percent contingency and the amount thereof are the 88,935 ballots,” he said.
“We have also ordered and are expected to receive 3,112,725 representative ballot papers. The same principle of assigning 550 ballots to a polling place multiplied by 5390 applies to the representative ballot papers,” Korkoya said.
He said the commission added five percent contingency to the representative ballots. “The five percent contingency will give you 148,225 extra ballots,” Korkoya added.
He said the reason why the commission ordered the three percent contingent ballots for the presidential election is simple, “because it is one ballot to all the 20 candidates contesting for the presidency. As for the representative candidates, they are many and are from different districts across the country. All of them cannot go on one general ballot paper,” he said.
On other issues, Korkoya said the transportation of ballots across the country will be done through different means. “The ballots will be taken to the various counties separately between October 1 and 6. Grand Gedeh, Grand Kru, Lower Lofa, Maryland, Lower Nimba and River Gee and Gbarpolu will receive their ballots via helicopter provided by UNMIL.
Sinoe, River Cess, Upper Nimba, Lower Montserrado, Upper Montserrado, Upper Lofa counties will receive their ballots by road transport,” said Korkoya.
“Delivery of non-sensitive electoral materials are in progress under escort and protection of state security, and will begin transporting all other sensitive electoral materials including the ballots as of October 1-6,” he stated.
Korkoya said 11,000 presiding officers for the ensuing elections are receiving training, and the voter identification officers training will begin tomorrow, Friday, September 29.
“During the first week of October, 17,000 polling stations staff will be trained in procedures. All planned training are scheduled to be completed by October 6,” he said.
He pointed out that the election violence cases involving the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) and Liberty (LP) on one hand in Sanniquellie, Nimba County and Bill Twehway of the CDC and Ceebee C. D. Barshell of UP on the other hand in Montserrado District #3 are being heard at the independent elections hearing office of the NEC. “We hope that the results in those cases will be made known to the public as soon as possible,” he assured.