Gbarpolu County – The magisterial office of the National Elections Commission (NEC) in Gbarpolu County said out of 166 people from three electoral districts that turned out during the period to replace lost or damaged voter registration (VR) cards, only one person replaced a damaged card.
The replacement of lost or damaged VR card was part of the commission’s 2017 calendar of event, which started on August 7 and ended on August 12. It allowed Liberians who lost or damaged voting card to have a new card ahead of October polls.
Kollie Lamendine, NEC magistrate in the county, said104 males and 41 females replaced their lost VR cards while one female replaced her damaged card.
He said the process also addressed concerns of people with VR cards but could not see their information on the final registration list. The VR information of 12 males and 8 females were also updated in the system, he said.
“These were people who registered, and had the VR card visible but did not see their names or information, so we updated their information to enable them to vote on October 10,” he said, adding that there was no hurdle during the six-day exercise.
“In replacement of lost and damaged cards, when you see people turning up more, it tells you that there is more problems that could require more time and education on the process,” he said, adding that the success of the exercise means people in Gbarpolu are determined to vote.
“That is the reason why they are keeping their voting card safe and let them continue protecting it. It is a seed they have planted this year that will be water very soon for their children to reap tomorrow.”
Although the replacement of VR cards has ended, there are concerns about people who may not have participated due to deplorable roads in hard-to-reach communities which pose challenges of getting to the center within the specified schedule.
Stephen Kollie, the assistant secretary of the civil society chapter in the county, is optimistic that there will not be major problems concerning the replacement of VR cards, but he called on NEC to be on alert about concerns of people who may travel from these hard-to-reach areas with lost or damaged VR cards issues.
The civil society organization official said the replacement of VR cards or updating of voter’s information is a significant exercise for the election process.
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