Former Rivercess County Superintendent, Wellington Geevon Smith, the man declared by the National Election Commission (NEC) as the winner of the just-ended December 8 Special Senatorial Election for his county, will now have to cut short his victory celebration until the commission completes the re-count of 104 of the 111 polling places.
On Wednesday, February 24, the Supreme Court mandated the NEC to conduct a re-count of the 104 of the 111 polling places, as initially authorized by the Board of Commissions of the (NEC). The court said its decision was to ensure fairness and transparency in the voting process after Smith’s closest rival, Steve Tequah, requested recount of the ballots cast in 104 polling places in the county.
By then, the NEC declared that Smith accumulated 3,284 votes, while Tequah collected 3,168 votes, which result Tequah challenged, arguing that the commission should conduct a re-count in seven of the 111 polling places in the county.
However, Tequah, not satisfied with the result, requested that the commission conduct a re-count in seven of the 111 polling places in the county. According to him, he had obtained 80 votes (35.7%) of 228 votes from the seven polling places that the electoral body representative had earlier declared to be invalid after recounting those areas.
It was based upon the changes witnessed that compelled Tequah to demand a recount of votes from the remaining 104 polling places.
Although the re-count kept Smith in the lead, the initial recount increased Tequah’s tally in the seven polling places, narrowing the margin between the two candidates.