By J. Burgess Carter
National Elections Commission Chairman Jerome Korkoya has assured Plenary of the Senate that names and photos of all legally registered Liberians will be on the final registration roll, therefore there was no need for alarm.
The embattled NEC boss said his commission has resolved to conduct one of the best elections in recent history and noted that what is currently happening with regard to the voters’ registration exhibition does not amount to massive irregularities as is being perceived by some citizens.
Chairman Korkoya asserted that the most important component of every election worldwide is getting voters’ registration because if the voters’ registration has a problem, it is likely the election process will also have a problem. He warned that what is happening now is not unique to Liberia. “Elections the world over are never one hundred percent problem-free, but we assure the citizenry that we will do everything to avoid errors that can undermine the credibility of the process.”
The appearance of the NEC boss in the Senate Chambers was prompted by a letter from Margibi County Senator Oscar Cooper, who informed his colleagues of reports of massive irregularities in the elections process, especially the just-ended nationwide voters’ registration roll exhibition.
During the marathon hearing attended by 21 Senators, Cllr. Korkoya disclosed that the Commission has so far received 13,000 complaints from individuals whose names or photos did not appear on the registration roll; but clarified that although the names of those individuals did not officially appear, the Commission’s database has already made the necessary corrections.
He maintained that his recent statement assuring that legally registered Liberians who possess voter cards with names, not on the voters roll will be allowed to vote was made because it was not a major issue that could not be corrected.
“Let me emphasize that you will get nothing short of free, fair, transparent and credible elections; there is no problem that cannot be resolved,” Korkoya assured the Plenary.
Before being discharged by Plenary, Cllr. Korkoya further assured them that magistrates at the various NEC Centers are working around the clock to ensure that when the final voters roll is exhibited, names and photos of every registered Liberian voter will be available for the process of voting.
Meanwhile, both Senator Cooper and Cllr. Korkoya, who appeared to have kicked off the proceedings, seemed to have resolved their misgivings, with the Margibi lawmaker admonishing the NEC boss to live up to his assurances of free and credible elections.