20 September 2017

Liberia: 6,000 Security Officers to Guard Polling Stations On During Elections

Monrovia — The National Elections Commission says its plan to safeguard the elections includes the deployment of a 6,000 strong force from the country's security apparatuses to handle any ruckus on elections day, October 10.

NEC Chairman, Cllr. Jerome Korkoya, said the servicemen come from the Liberia National Fire Service, Liberia Immigration Service, Drugs Enforcement Agency, Armed Forces of Liberia and the Liberia National Police.

He saw two officers will be deployed at each precinct center and escorts will be provided for the transportation of election materials.

At the NEC's regular Wednesday press briefing, the NEC chairman disclosed a total 100,000 mock ballots for each election and 1,210 tactile ballots for training purposes are already in Liberia and being used.

"The 3,053,435 presidential and 3,112,725 legislative ballot papers are scheduled to start arriving in Liberia on September 24, 2017."

"There is a five and three percent contingency included in the respective amounts in line with international best practice. 30,000 tactile ballots will also be delivered for the visually impaired," the chairman said.

He said the with pre-packed polling kits arrived on September 17, 2017, and the second batch on September 19, 2017, as polling booths arrived on September 17, 2017.

Korkoya also said sample ballots papers have so far been produced for five of the 15 counties which include; Grand Cape Mount, Bomi, Gbapolu, Grand Bassa and Montserrado and encourage political parties to collect their allotment from the political affairs section of the National Elections Commission.

The NEC boss warned that local distribution of polling materials will be a challenge due to infrastructure and the weather.

"To increase our logistics capacity, the National Elections Commission requested UNMIL to provide assistance in the form of air support to transport election material to the harder to reach areas of the country. I am very pleased to announce this request was met with a positive response from the UNMIL leadership.

"As a result, we will have the option of air support to ensure material reaches these locations. I would particularly like to thank the special representative of the Secretary-General for this magnanimous gesture in this regard," he added.

Voters' register and SMS text service

The NEC says in line with its commitment to making available the voters' roll, they are pleased to report that the final voters' roll has been distributed to all 19 magisterial offices around the country in accordance with section 22, subsection 22.3, of the National Elections Commission's voter Registration regulation of 2016.

"The SMS text service for voters to check their details is now live. The National Elections Commission has completed an agreement with the GSM provider, Orange, to provide this service."

"Any registered voter can text their voter card number to 1847 and within minutes they will be able to access the details, including the location of where they are registered to vote."

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