Maryland County – Residents of Harper City, Maryland County have stressed the significance of reforming Liberia’s election laws, based on several challenges they faced during the 2017 elections.
John Wilson, a member of the physically challenged community, said the heavy downpour of rain on election day in 2017 made it difficult for him to exercise his franchise.
According to Wilson, the river was overflowed, making it difficult to travel from his village, which was about 19 kilometers to the nearest voting center.
“I tried to cross that water over a stick; I felled off the stick and went into the water,” he recalled.
The Physically challenged man added, “It was only through the blessing of friends, who were going to vote that day that helped me to have voted for my children feature.
“I think they should change the elections day from October to December,” he said.
For Stanford Sieh, a civil society activist, she thinks reforms are “now necessary to avert some of the challenges voters experienced” on election’s day.
“Elections in October is a serious problem,” Sieh says. “Therefore, I will suggest that we go to a referendum before the next general elections, to change that date and month.
At the William VS Tubman University, History Professor Eli Budu Tubman says he too has “problem with the date and month” of the election.
“I think rainy season is one of the major reasons why the election month and date should be changed,” he said.
“Because our roads are bad always and transportation of our ballot boxes are a major problem facing Liberia’s electoral sector”.
Prof Tubman says most of the times “polling staffs are assigned across rivers. They sometimes even convey ballot boxes on their heads and this, I think, is risking their lives to give timely elections’ results.”
He too is calling for “a quick referendum to boost electoral reform” that will alter the current elections’ timetable in the country.
Report By: Bryan Dioh In Maryland County