Authorities at the National Elections Commission (NEC) have announced the Commission’s preparedness to conduct the July 31 Senatorial by-elections in Bong and Montserrado counties by procuring all materials, including ballot papers, which arrived in the country over the weekend.
Cllr. Jerome George Kokoya on Monday, July 23, informed journalists in Monrovia that all items, including prepacked kits and ballot papers, which were procured (obtained) outside the country, have arrived.
“For your ease of reference, there are 669 voting precincts and 2,292 polling places in both counties,” Kokoya said.
Although it is not known how many ballot papers were brought into the country for the Senatorial by-elections, Kokoya said for the collection and processing of data on the elections, NEC has recruited 78 data center staffs to beef up the strength of those already working with the Commission.
“In addition to data center staff, the NEC has also recruited 148 electoral supervisors and 12,956 polling staff, including presiding officers, voter identification officers, ballot paper issuers, ink makers and ballot box controllers as well as queue controllers. Training for these staff will commence today, Tuesday, in the two counties,” Kokoya declared.
“In addition to civic educators deployed in the field, the Commission, in collaboration with International Foundation for Electoral System, has produced jingles and dramas, which are being aired on a number of radio stations in Bong and Montserrado counties, highlighting peaceful conduct of the elections,” Kokoya said.
Although the NEC has declared campaign opened for the exercise, Kokoya said the Commission has received no complaint of campaign-related violence. He said this news, which is about a violence free campaign process, is welcoming not only to the NEC, but the entire country and partners.
About ensuring that there is security on the day of the by-elections, the NEC chairman said the leadership of the Liberia National Police (LNP) will submit a budget (amount undisclosed) to the Commission for review and consideration so as to protect all polling centers on the day of the elections.
“Seventy-seven civic educators and gender mobilizers were recruited, trained and deployed across the two counties,’ he said.
He added that 35 are assigned in Montserrado, while 42 have been deployed in Bong County and that the civic educators are mobilizing voters to turn out on Tuesday, July 31, to exercise their political franchise.