‘Our Names Are Not on Voters’ Roll’

-Sen. Oscar Cooper

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Margibi County Senator Oscar Cooper is expected to present a letter to the Senate plenary this week informing that body that his name and those of his wife and many others in his county were omitted from the current registration roll that is displayed throughout the country.

The former chairman of the Senate Committee on Public Works told Senate plenary in alarm last Thursday that, “I went to check on the registration roll for me and my wife, and I was shocked to find out that our names were omitted. This is a serious matter as many other citizens are also complaining about this omission. We have to do something about it now; this discrepancy in the registration roll needs to be addressed immediately.”

Due to the seriousness the Margibi lawmaker attached to his complaint, he was advised by Senate Pro Tempore Armah Jallah to put it in writing for it to be taken as an agenda item.

Senator Cooper later told this paper that he will definitely write his colleagues so that the matter can be corrected right away to avoid a repeat, apparently referring to the infamous 1927 Liberia election that entered the Guinness Book of Records as the most rigged election.

“You journalists will receive a copy of a detailed letter highlighting what is obtaining with respect to the omitted names of eligible voters from the final voters roll,” Senator Cooper told reporters.

Senator Cooper and his wife were not the only victims in the latest National Elections Commission (NEC) voters roll saga, as a resident of the highly populated and underprivileged township of West Point, Madam Miatta Kamara, told our reporter yesterday. She said that her name and those of her husband and two children were also left off the voters roll.

“We registered right here at this Waterside old National Housing Bank; here are our cards, but see for yourself our names or photos are not here,” Madam Kamara lamented.
A female friend who accompanied Kamara to help trace her name was overheard saying: “I told you ‘Miatta let us go to the Cathedral School to register, but you said you can’t go far from your selling table, now see what has happened to you.”

A member of the Senate Committee on Autonomous Commissions & Agencies, which has oversight responsibility on the NEC, but begged anonymity, told our reporter that with the alarming number of complainants about the voters registration roll saga, the chairman of NEC, Jerome G. Korkoya, may be cited to either appear before their committee or the Senate plenary to explain what is happening and the way out.

Chairman Korkoya on June 14, during a press conference, informed the nation that Liberians with valid voter registration cards will be allowed to vote during the October 10 presidential and legislative elections whether or not their names are on the final voters roll.

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