By David S. Menjor
As the nationwide exhibition of the 2017 voters roll began yesterday, the National Elections Commission (NEC) has expressed regret over the inaccessibility of several centers in Sinoe County Electoral Districts #1 & 2.
At a brief press conference in Monrovia yesterday, NEC chairman Jerome G. Korkoya said the centers are unreachable for now due to the flooding of the roads as a result of heavy rainfall in those districts.
“For the sake of transparency, we will continue to keep the public informed of every unfolding event, regardless of the location, where each case is identified,” Korkoya noted. He added that even though the deadline for the exhibition is on Saturday, June 17, residents in the affected areas who have registered to vote will have extended time to allow them to verify all of their voter registration (VR) information before the start of the campaign period.
The voter roll exhibition is intended for all registered voters to verify the accuracy of their information, including names, ages, places of birth, among others, as given to NEC registrars at the time of the VR process that ended on March 14. It also provides adult community dwellers who have registered to vote the opportunity to identify the names of people who are not residents of said community and are non-Liberian citizens who might have succeeded in registering to vote.
“Due to the flood, it was dangerous for any of our staff to make any attempt into those centers,” he pointed out. “District #1 has 20 VR centers; and of the 20 centers, six were affected. Electoral District #2 has 25 VR centers, but we were able to access only two of them.”
He listed Kabada, Tubmanville Clinic, Palatroken Palava Hut, Plasiken Palava Hut, Wessay Town Palava Hut and Saywon Town VR centers as those affected in District #1, while Old Government Camp-Neeteah and Sunshine Town Hall were the two centers in Sinoe Electoral District #2 that have so far been reached.
“We expect new updates from our Sinoe staff before the close of business today (yesterday),” he said.
Meanwhile, yesterday’s press conference coincided with the training of staffers from the registered political parties as well as some civil society groupings on how their election hopefuls should be listed on the ballot papers. The training also afforded them the opportunity to listen and make inquiries about issues of concern, including challenges faced in Sinoe County regarding the exhibition of the voter roll.