National Elections Commission (NEC) workers at the D. Twe Memorial High School campus are worried about the slow pace of the voter registration process as they continue to complain about lack of batteries for digital cameras used to take photographs of registrants.
A visit to the campus yesterday revealed a lot of frustration among registrants who also complained that they were having difficulties being registered.
NEC workers told the Daily Observer that out of the three centers where they register citizens, only one center has an active camera, and is also where the two other centers are sending registrants to have their photos taken.
“We have sent to the NEC office for batteries to get the cameras operable but reports came from there that there are no batteries to operate the camera,” according to one of the workers. “It has been like that for the last three days.”
Meanwhile, a few people were seen being interviewed by NEC workers as officers from the Liberia Immigration Service (LIS) observed the process.
Registration workers confirmed to the Daily Observer that to date, only officers from the LIS have been present at the three centers to ensure that only Liberian citizens go through the process.
“Beside the problem with the camera batteries,” an NEC worker said, “we have not had any problem about any non-Liberians sneaking into our system to get registered.”
He said LIS officers assigned at the three centers are cooperating with them.
However, few citizens interviewed yesterday told the Daily Observer that the enthusiasm that initially came with the idea of registering for the elections has slowed down.
“Why should I come here to register only to spend two or three hours?” asked a young woman at the D. Twe campus registration center. “I don’t think we need to spend so much time to be able to vote in October.”
New workers at the center did not want to speak officially about the situation but many grumbled about the failure to get batteries for the digital cameras to move the process smoothly.
NEC chairman Cllr. Jerome Korkoyah told journalists in a joint press conference on Monday in Monrovia that due to voter registration challenges, the commission may likely extend the deadline beyond March 1, 2017.
However, with glaring challenges including the lack of batteries for the digital cameras, many observers are saying that NEC should get itself together to demonstrate that it is credible and responsible enough to conduct the voter registration as scheduled.