Liberia: Alleged Voting Fraud, Other Issues Emerge on Election Day

Mamos Media

By Hannah N. Geterminah

These are just a few of more than one hundred voter cards found in the possession of two men on 19th street, Sinkor, Monrovia

2 suspects nabbed

Barely half-way through election day, instances of alleged voter fraud are popping up, especially in Montserrado County, the main battleground of the special senatorial and referendum elections that are taking place across the country today.

Cyvette Gibson, a candidate for Montserrado County District 9 representative by-election, reported that her poll workers have discovered pre-marked ballots. According to her, poll workers also found 1,000 ballot papers at one polling station and that National Elections Commission (NEC) staff are “sensitizing citizens on the referendum and advising how they shall vote.”

In another case, two men were caught with multiple voter cards on 19th Street, Sinkor, Monrovia. Some reports have it that the men had over 100 voter cards.

Some voters who also participated in the Voter Roll Update (VRU) process disclosed that when the National Election commission (NEC) Staffs put up the Final Voter Roll Update, they saw their names only to later discover upon reaching to the election officer who was responsible to find their names before handing them the ballot paper, they could not find their names.

Sarah Tappa, who was voting at the Omega Community, Paynesville, said she woke up as early as 5:30 to cast her vote but locating the voting center became a major challenge when NEC changed the center without providing information to those that were expected to cast their votes at that particular location.

“We registered at the Christian Home old school building that is where we voted during the 2017 general and presidential elections, for the two senatorial by-elections we also used that same center. Surprisingly for me, when I woke up, I came directly at this same center so I can vote sooner to return to my home and do other important things, but I could not find anything about the process taking place at that location; when I asked few persons they informed me that we was no long voting at that center but a nearby school called John B. Wahpoe Inland Academy, so I am trying now to get the directions to that institution so I can cast my vote,” Ma Sarah said.

Ma Sarah said after casting her vote the candidate of her choice, she hopes to see a peaceful climax, adding that violence is not the way forward for Liberia.

Mr. Peterson J. Walker, a voter who was seen in the queue at the Wahpoe Inland Academy center, told this reporter that he experienced huge difficulties in locating the new voting center only because he was not informed about the change in venue, a decision he added was very “poor” on the part of NEC.

He said it was important for the office of NEC to pass information to the public before relocating the polling center because, “the people are the ones who are coming to participate in the voting process at that particular location.”

Madam Tete Zuram, a registered voter at another center, expressed disappointment in the delay of elections activities at her polling center.

Voters in queue in Paynesville on Dec. 8, 2020, waiting to elect the senator of Montserrado County for the next nine years.

Ma Tete, age 64, said she was told by the poll officer that the process would not start at the expected 8:00 a.m. because of the late arrival of those items that are needed for the process.

She said in Liberia, the issue of delay in elections has become the order of the day, a situation Ma Tete said must be addressed by NEC quickly.

Ma Tete said “a process that is expected to start at 8:00 a.m. cannot delay up to 9:15. This is serious and we need to address as a country.”

John B. Mulbah said he was not able to vote because his name was not on the Finial Roll even though he has voted in three previous elections.

When asked about participation in the VRU, Mr. Mulbah said he was not aware of the process, adding that it is unfortunate that he will not be able to participate in this very important election. “This election is very important because we are electing senators that will lead us for the next nine years and we will also be making some amendments in the constitution; so not participating is nothing to be happy about.

Culled From Daily Observer.

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