Bomi County – The office of the National Elections Commission in Bomi County says there were low turnouts during the exercise to replace lost and damaged voter’s cards in the county.
The electoral magistrate office, however, described the process as successful. But many people say setting up only few VR card replacement centers in a county that has
towns far apart and locals challenge by deplorable roads in rural communities caused the low turnout.
In an interview with LocalVoicesLiberia, Luther Dean, Assistant Elections Magistrate for Bomi County, said 319 persons were processed from August 7 to 12.
He said d four centers in the county were designated for the replacement of VR cards.
Dean said out of the 319 persons, 37 people were processed in district number one, 92 in district number two, 55 in district number three and 135 at the magistrate’s office in Tubmanburg.
Locals Explain Poor Turnout
Many people expressed dissatisfaction in the process, citing the long distances from towns to the four centers led to the poor result.
“My card got spoiled when I was on a motorbike from Sackie town to Tubmanburg in the rain last month, and looking at the distance from Sackie Town to Beajah where one of the centers was, it’s over two hours drive, and I never had transportation to get there that cost close to 2000 Liberian dollars,” said John Varney, suggesting more centers would have averted the poor participation of many others who didn’t replace their cards.“How will people turn out when they only had four centers in the country,” asked Blama Varflay, a resident of Tubmanburg.
“How will people turn out when they only had four centers in the country,” asked Blama Varflay, a resident of Tubmanburg.“Why will NEC registered over 61, 000 persons in the county and then during the card replacement period had only for centers to replace
“Why will NEC registered over 61, 000 persons in the county and then during the card replacement period had only for centers to replace cards,” asked Ma Hawa Boima, chair-lady of Sumo town community.
“So they are responsible for the poor turnout, meaning that on elections day many of our people will not vote.”
“The NEC did not treat us fine, they know exactly that there are far places in the county and they only established four centers,” added Jah Varney. “So for me I will blame them for the poor turnout.”
Report By: Foday Sesay