Executives, including the presidential and vice presidential candidates; Charles Walker Brumskine and Harrison Karnwea, and all Representative candidates of the opposition Liberty Party have filed a complaint to the National Elections Commission making reference on how the conduct of the just ended October 10, 2017 elections was ‘Fraudulent.
Read below legal document presented by Liberty Party to NEC:
REPUBLIC OF LIBERIA ) THE NATIONAL ELECTION COMMISSION, R.L.
MONTSERRADO COUNTY )
BEFORE THE BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS OF THE NATIONAL ELECTION COMMISSION
Charles Walker Brumskine, Harrison S. Karnwea, )
Presidential & Vice Presidential Candidates, and all )
Representative Candidates of Liberty Party…Complainants )
) Violation of the Constitution and
) Elections Law, Fraudulent Acts
) and Gross Irregularities during
The National Election Commission (NEC) …. Defendent ) the October 10, 2017 Elections
Complainants file this Complaint under the authority of Article 83(c) of the Liberian Constitution which states: “…Any party or candidate who complains about the manner in which the elections were conducted or who challenges the results thereof shall have the right to file a complaint with the Elections Commission. Such complaint must be filed not later than seven days after the announcement of the results of the elections; and pursuant to Section 6.1 of the Elections Law of Liberia which states that: “Any political party or candidate who has justifiable reasons to believe that the elections were not impartially conducted and not in keeping with the Elections Law, which resulted in his defeat or the defeat of a candidate shall have the right to file a complaint with the Commission; such complaint must be filed not later than seven (7) days after the announcement of the results of the elections”—and showeth the following, to wit:
- Violation of the Constitution of Liberia, Elections Law and Regulations/ Disenfranchisement
Complainants say that Articles 77(b) and 80(c) of the Constitution provide, inter alia, that every Liberian Citizen, not less than 18 years of age shall have the right to be registered in a constituency, and vote in public elections in such constituency within which he or she is registered, and to do so by secret ballot. Complainants say that this is consistent with and in furtherance of Article 1 of the Constitution which states that: “All power is inherent in the people. All free governments are instituted by their authority and for their benefit and they have the right to alter and reform the same when their safety and happiness so require. In order to ensure democratic government which responds to the wishes of the governed, the people shall have the right at such period, and in such manner as provided for under this Constitution, to cause their public servants to leave office and to fill vacancies by regular elections and appointments. Complainant submit that under the mandate of the constitutional provisions referenced herein, as well as Article 34(i) of the Constitution, the Elections Law, enacted by the Legislature under authority of the Constitution, imposes upon the NEC the duty and the obligation not only to conduct public elections, but importantly to ensure that the electoral process is fair, is transparent, and is not tainted with any semblance of malpractice or fraud, that the actual valid votes cast by the electorate are counted and that the results thereof reflect the aspirations and will of the electorate. Complainants say that not only were these laws violated by the NEC, but that the violations substantially and effectively deprived voters of their constitutional right to vote, and that not all voters were afforded the equal opportunity and equal protection guaranteed under the Constitution and law. Complainants particularly reference the following:
- Late Opening of Polls.
- (a) That notwithstanding, pursuant to Articles 77(b) and 80(c) of the Constitution, Section 4.8(2) of the enabling Elections Law, Article 6 of the Regulation on Polling and Counting provide that voting shall commence at 8:00 a.m. and close at 6 p.m., provided that the last person in queue at 6:00 p.m. shall be permitted to vote. The NEC failed to adhere to the said Regulation and in many instances the polls were opened late, and in some cases, as late as 3:00 p.m., clearly to the detriment of the registered voters, many of them members of Liberty Party, who had shown up to exercise their constitutional right and political franchise. The consequence of the late opening of polls by the National Election Commission was that most voters, especially the elderly, disabled, and infirm, after having stood in line for hours, were effectively deprived of their constitutional right to vote, as they were constrained to leave the polling places, believing not only that such polling places would not be opened, or that the location of the polling places had been changed, as was done in other cases, but also that such act by the NEC, may have created or could have created health problems for them. The Commissioners are requested to take judicial notice of the fact of the late opening of the polls in certain areas of the country, which was common knowledge and which the Commission itself acknowledged.
Copies of the EU Observation Report, and Carter Center Preliminary Statement on Liberia Election, are hereto attached together, as Complainants’ Exhibit “A.”
See, EU Observation Report that,
“Undue aggravations in finding their Polling Place ultimately resulted in frustration and tension.”
See also, Carter Center Statement that,
“However, observers across most counties reported difficulty in locating voters on the Final Registration Roll in some polling places.”
“In what appeared to be a related problem, observers reported that ineffective queue management, mainly in large precincts, affected the orderly flow of the polling, creating confusion among voters and long lines throughout the day.” Carter Center Issues Preliminary Statement on Liberia Election, October 12, 2017.
(b) The opening of the Polls at various times, some at 8:00 a.m., others at 1:30 p.m., and yet others at 2:30 p.m. at various locations in the country, deprived voters who were registered to vote in such locations of equal protection under the law. For example, the polls opened at 1:30 p.m. at the Joel High School, Tusa Field, District 13, Precinct #30237, Monsterrado County; and in, Saygbeken, Electoral District 2, Sinoe County, opened after 2:30 p.m. on Election Day. Complainants submit that in those Polling Places where there were delays in the opening of the voting stations, the time should have been extended by the same number of hours as had been lost because of the lateness of the opening of the polling stations. By the same token, the stations should have been fully equipped to ensure that the ballots were not exposed to mistakes being made because of the darkness or to rigging of the votes by those who were counting the votes. But because these steps were not taken, not only were many voters deprived of the equal protection of the law and the right to vote, but the process was exposed to high prospects of vote manipulation. Notice is given that Affidavits in support of these assertions, and others, shall be provided during the hearing.
(c) Late opening of some Polls, without ensuring that late opening Polls remained opened for at least 10 hours, as required by law, with sufficient lighting and adequate security, deprived voters who were registered at such Polling Places of equal protection under the law, in addition to depriving them of the right to vote and exposing the polling places to the the danger of vote fixing.
- Change of Polling Stations.
(a) Pursuant to Articles 77(b) and 80(c) of the Constitution, Section 4.2(1) of the enabling Elections Law, as amended, and Article 4.3 of the enabling Regulation on Polling and Counting provides that a location of a Polling Place may be changed by the NEC, if it determines that same is necessary, but the NEC is required to notify the voters and post signs showing the new location at least a week before polling, emergency excepted. Complainants aver that on the day of election, with no emergency, voters discovered that some Polling Places were not at the locations that had been previously published by the NEC, thus depriving them of their constitutional right to vote. One of such examples is the location of a Polling Place in Precinct Center #6171, District# 7, Fuama, Bong County, which was changed, without the required notice, from Korniekawoejai to Camp America, about six-hour walk, resulting in many not voting, thus depriving such voters of the constitutional right to vote. Complainants request the NEC to take judicial notice of the number of voters at that particular precinct to determine how many persons of that precinct were deprived of the right to vote as well as many others who, not entitled to vote, may have been allowed to vote since at such center the requisite observers could not be present. Notice is given that Affidavits in support of these assertions, and others, shall be provided during the hearing.
- Names of Voters not listed on the FRR.
(a) The NEC is both constitutionally and statutorily obliged to maintain an accurate Voters Registration List, at each Polling Place, of those registered at such voter registration center, to expedite the voting process, ensuring that votes counted from every Polling Place are votes of only legitimate voters, and that the results thereof reflect the aspirations of only those who were registered, and who voted at the Polling Place. Complainants hereby give notice that during the hearing it will produce copies of Affidavits and Voter Registration Cards of individuals who were not allowed to vote because their names were not on the Final Registration Roll (FRR).
(b) The process, as outlined in (a) above, was not implemented by the NEC, giving rise to two problems. (i) Many voters arrived at the Polling Places, where they had registered, only to be told that they were not eligible to vote because their names were not on the FFR, thus depriving such voters of their constitutional right to vote. For example, Stanley Carter, Liberty Party Representative for District #1, Sinoe County, was told by the Presiding Officer that he could not vote because his name was not on the FRR. It was only after he requested the Presiding Officer to look of the ballot paper, carrying his name and photo, was he allowed to vote. Many voters who were similarly situated and who were disenfranchised because their names were not on the FRR, will never be known under the circumstances. Copy of a sworn statement of Stanley Carter is hereto attached as Exhibit “B.” Complainants also give notice that during trial, affidavits of some of these voters shall be produced in support of this averment.
(c) Then during the afternoon of Election Day, after most voters had already been turned away, the NEC announced that all persons carrying “valid Registration Card” should be allowed to vote. The Commissioners are requested to take judicial notice of the announcements made by the NEC over ELBS and other radio stations. However, Section 3.2 of the enabling Regulation on Polling and Counting, provides that, “If a person has a valid Registration Card marked for a precinct, but whose name cannot be found on the voter registration roll for the precinct, subject to paragraph 3, the presiding officer shall permit the person to vote, if the person’s Registration Card is verified through the SMS verification system managed by the NEC.”
(d) The Carter Center reported that, “Observers reported that the SMS system for verifying voter registration data was not being widely used when voter were not found on the list. Further although the NEC established a hotline for presiding officers to check voter data, this fact was not sufficiently disseminated, and observers did not see it being used.”
(e) But allowing individuals carrying “valid Registration Card,” whose names are not found in the Voter Registration Roll, is subject to two conditions: (i) the Registration Card should be verified through the SMS verification system managed by the NEC. This was not done! (ii) If the person carrying such “Registration Card” is on the list of persons provided by the NEC who have been removed from the Registration Roll, either because of double registrations, or because such person is underage, such person should not be allowed to vote. Again, the verification was never done by the NEC! Now, whether those who left the Polling Places, prior to the NEC’s announcement, allowing every person carrying a voter registration card to vote, were legitimate voters, deprived of their constitutional right to vote; or, those who voted, following the NEC announcement, were individuals who should not have been allowed to vote, are questions, the answers to which will never be known because of the failure of the NEC to perform the statutorily required verifications. The failure by the NEC to comply with the mandatory statutory requirements put into doubt the legitimacy of the elections and creates a cloud of doubt over the elections, warranting a rerun of the elections, and the Complainants so pray.
(f) Paragraph (d) above notwithstanding, the question remains as to how many persons heard the NEC radio announcement. The presumption is that not many, as those who were not allowed to vote were commuting away from Polling Places, without access to radio, at the time of the announcement. Complainants submit that the wrongful and illegal acts on the part of the election officials should not be permitted to disenfranchise voters, as the voter cannot and should not be called upon to police the actions of election officials. As examples of some individuals who were turned away because their names were said not to be on the FRR, Complainants give notice that during the trial they will produce copies of Voters ID Cards of such individuals, and/or their affidavits.
- The Presiding Officer’s Worksheet of the NEC
(a) The Presiding Officer’s Worksheet of the NEC was not used by the NEC at the various Polling Places. Among other things, the Presiding Officer’s Worksheet would have indicated the starting and ending serial numbers of ballots used at a Polling Place, making it difficult for ballots in the ballot boxes to be replaced while in transit from the Polling Place to the Magistrate. And the Presiding Officer’s Worksheet would have been signed by Party Agents. In the absence of serial numbers, there is no way of knowing whether the ballots in the ballot boxes were those that were either cast at a Polling Place, assigned and delivered to the polling places, or ballots that were surreptitiously stuffed in the ballot boxes after polling had closed. The above notwithstanding, absence of the Presiding Officer’s Worksheet takes a whole new dimension, knowing that information, such as, “Number of ballot papers that should be in the ballot box,” “Number of the ballot papers taken from the ballot box,” among others, are all said to have been copied from Presiding Officer’s Worksheet, to the Record of Count. This cast a cloud of doubt over the elections, warranting a rerun of the elections, and the Complainants so pray. Copies of the Presiding Officer’s Worksheet and the Record of Count are hereto attached together, as Complainants’ Exhibits “C.”
(b) Strangely enough, the Complainants have not noticed any ballot used in the October 10, 2017, that has serial number. The Complainants attached hereto, in bulk, copies of ballots used during the elections, evidencing the absence of serial numbers, as Exhibits “C-1. Complainants challenge the NEC to produce the ballots used during the elections that carry serial numbers. The Complainants submit that the design of the ballots without serial numbers was a calculated means of ensuring massive fraud, as was conducted during the elections. This alone warrants a rerun of the elections, and the Complainants so pray.
(c) Because the ballots did not have serial numbers or the serial numbers of ballots used in the October 10, 2017 elections remain unknown, the NEC officials and others were at liberty to change and replaced ballots at will. Seals on ballot boxes were broken after the voters had voted, polls were closed, and the ballot boxes were sealed.
- The absence of Queue Controllers.
At most of the Polling Places there was no Queue Controller to ensure that voters were queuing on the right line. This frustrated many voters, who stood many hours on the line to exercise their franchise, only to be told that they were on the wrong line. Many such voters left the Polling Place unable to find the right line, and without being able to vote, thus being deprived of their constitutional right to vote. (In past elections 2005 and 2011, the polling places were labelled in series with the voting numbers. So, when a person came to vote at a Polling Place, s/he knew exactly what line to stand on). Because there was no Queue Controller to assist persons with disabilities, the elderly, and infirm, the Polling Officers could not give preference to such persons at the polling place, as required by law. As examples of some individuals who were told that they were on the wrong line, after queuing for several hours, and left the Polling Place out of frustration. Complainants give notice that during the trial they will produce copies of the Voters ID Cards of such individuals, and/or their affidavits.
- Fraudulent Acts
The Complainants submit that the entire election was characterized by fraud, evident by the analyses of some of the Record of Counts, which are hereto attached in bulk and marked Complainants’ Exhibit “D,” in substantiation of this averment to form a cogent part of Complainants’ Complaint. Notice is given that during the hearing, the supporting Record of Counts will be produced. We also provide other specific incidents of fraud herein below.
- After voting ended at Precinct #30073, Bardnersville Public School, Polling Place #3, Montserrado County, the ballot box was sealed with the following numbers, (a) Pre–046330 – front (b) Pre–046324 – right, (c) Pre–046335 – left, and party representatives left the polling place. Unfortunately for the Presiding Officer, a poll watcher returned to the Polling Place only to find the Presiding Officer’s hand in the ballot box, having broken the seals. The numbers of the second set of seals that was placed on the ballot box are (a) Pre– 046324, (b) Pre-027338, (c) Pre-027323, and (d) Pre– 046336. Complainants give notice that they will produce an affidavit of the Poll Watcher in support of this averment during the hearing. Complainants say that this incident clearly suggests that in many of the places where pool watchers or observers did not return to the place where the ballot boxes were held, the Presiding Officers could have engaged in such similar conduct and manipulated the votes. Complainants submit that this clearly places the elections in doubt and deprived it of legitimacy, requiring a rerun, and the Complainants so pray.
- An NEC Presiding Officer, Josephus Cooper, of electoral district #3, Nimba County, was arrested with pre-marked ballots in his possession, some of which he had already deposited in the ballot box. Complainants attached hereto a photograph of the Presiding Officer, when he was arrested, marked as Complainants’ Exhibit “E.”
- In Zota, Polling Place #3, Precinct Code #06102, Shankpallai Town, District #4, Bong County, following the close of the polls and counting of ballots, on Wednesday morning, October 11, 2017, it was noticed that the NEC Presiding Officer, Joseph Karlon, was carrying a presidential ballot box on a bike. When confronted and interviewed, the Presiding Officer stated that the ballot box was left behind, and that he had gone alone, unaccompanied by a Police Officer, to pick it up on a bike; use of an NEC vehicle was evidently avoided. A transcript of a voice recording of the Presiding Officer’s interview with a local Journalist, is hereto attached as Complainants Exhibit “F.” If need be, the recording will be played during the hearing, and the local journalist will subpoena as a witness.
- At voting Precinct #30121, Polling Place #3, Paynesville Community School, Montserrado County, the Presiding Officer, Moses Cooper, forwarded report to the Collation Center at SKD Stadium, that the Liberty Party Representative Candidate, Kwisi Johnson, received no vote. When questioned at Collation Center, he stated that the Record of Count from the Polling Place was missing. When the ballots were recounted, the LP candidate in fact had 28 votes, and not zero, as reported by the Presiding Officer. How many of such fraud was committed around the country will never be known under the circumstances. What is important is that it shows a consistent pattern on the part of Presiding Officers at committing fraud in the elections, which could not have been done alone but with the connivance of elections officials. Copies of the self-made record of count of the Presiding Officer, LP’s Complaint, and the Record of Count of October 17, 2017, from the Collation Center are hereto attached in bulk, as Complainant’s Exhibit “G.”.
- At the Collation Center, at SKD Stadium, it was also observed that in Precinct #30171, Polling Place 3, District 12, Montserrado County, Liberty Party, Charles W. Brumskine obtained 205 votes. Regrettably, the Presiding Officer elected to cancel same and allotted 26 votes. Attached is a copy of the Presidential Records of Count from District #12, as the Complainants’ Exhibit “H.”
- In Margibi County, Dwazon, District #1, Voting Precinct #24105, Polling Place #4, the Presidential Record of the Count shows that there were 2550, as “Total of unused, spoiled and discarded ballot papers,” although there should not have been more than 550 ballots at any Polling Place. Copy of the Record of Count is hereto attached, as Complainants’ Exhibit “I.”
- In Bong County, Tokpaipolu Public School, District #6, Voting Precinct #06113, Polling Place #1, the Presidential Record of the Count shows that there were 1,109 ballots cast in favour of George Weah, Presidential Candidate of the CDC, although there should not have been more than 550 ballots at any Polling Place. Copy of the Record of Count is hereto attached, as Complainants’ Exhibit “J.” Complainants challenge the NEC to produce all of the remaining (unused or otherwise) ballot to determine precisely the total number of ballots that issued by the NEC on Elections Day, how many were released to each voting center, how many were actually used, and how many were returned by each voting center.
- In Cinta Township, Margibi County, between the hours of 9:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m., it was observed that an NEC pick-up was parked on the side of the road, and the occupants thereof had opened a ballot box, and when an alarm was raised by a resident of the Township, the vehicle with the occupants fled the scene, inadvertently dropping the top/cover of the ballot box. The top has a single seal thereon, number Pre-043875. A photo of the top of the ballot box is hereto attached as Complainants’ Exhibit “K.” Notice is given that during the hearing, the top of the ballot box will be displayed, if necessary, and an affidavit of the individual who witnessed the fraud may also be produced. Again, this shows a consistent pattern rather than just an isolated incident, and point to a conspiracy by the NEC or certain officials of the NEC to rig the elections.
- In Bong County, Electoral District #4, Shankpalli 1, Voting Precinct #06102, Polling Place #1, the number of the ballot papers taken from the ballot box was 177, but candidate Robert Womba got 246. Copy of the Record of Count is hereto attached, as Complainants’ Exhibit “L.”
- The Voter Registration Card system employs a nine-digit numbering system beginning with the number seven (7) and ending with the number seven (7), creating the possibility of printing 10,000,000 ballots for a country with a total population of about 4.5 million and a “voter registration list” of only 2,100,000. What was the intended use of the capacity to print about 7,000,000 more voter registration cards? Complainants say the capacity to produce the extra and outrageous quantity of voter registration cards could only have been intended to provide room for fraud, and which actually allowed fraud in the electoral process. A case in point is the fraud perpetrated by a staff of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Amos Siebo, who was arrested as part of an illegal voter registration ring at his private home in Johnsonville, outside Monrovia. The ring was busted with an assortment of National Elections Commission voter registration materials, including cameras, blank voter cards, forms and printers. How a staff of the President’s office got possession of Elections materials remains unknown. Mr. Siebo was arrested, but later released, and has not been prosecuted. This is yet another example of the fraud that has characterized the entire electoral process. Copy of the FPA press clipping on the voter registration fraud is hereto attached, as Complainants’ Exhibit “M.” Was this a part of a larger scheme of fraud—Presiding Officers breaking seals on ballot boxes after the Polls were closed; removing the ballots that were cast, and replacing them with strange ballots; ballot boxes being transported by unaccompanied individuals, among others?
III. Gross Irregularities. Gross irregularities were pervasive throughout the electoral process, which contravenes the constitutional, statutory, and regulatory requirements of ensuring transparency and fairness in the electoral process.
- There was no verification of the number of ballot papers at Polling Places prior to the commencement of voting—the starting and ending serial numbers of ballot papers were never recorded and attested to by party representatives. As a result, many Records of Count show that ballots at Polling Places just do not add up. For instance, the NEC had published that there would not be more than 550 voters at each polling place. Regrettably, however, record of count from some of the Polling Places in and around the country are more then 550.
- Verifying and recording the number of ballot papers at Polling Places prior to the commencement of voting, evidencing the starting and ending serial numbers of ballot papers, attested to by all Party Representatives, are of critical importance. The absence of this has demonstrated a deliberate and calculated conduct on the part of the NEC to compromise the credibility of the entire electoral process, creating the opportunity for fraud. For the electoral process to have been credible, fair, and transparent, and perceived as such, the starting and ending serial numbers of the ballots, used at every Polling Place, should have been recorded and attested to by Party/Candidate Agents prior to the commencement of voting. Pursuant thereto, the NEC prepared and published the “Polling And Counting Manual For Staff, Presidential And Representatives Elections 2017,” which contains the Presiding Officer’s Worksheet. The Presiding Officer’s Worksheet was designed to record the starting and ending serial numbers of the ballots, among other things, with provisions for the signature of Party/Candidate Agents.
- The primary purpose of the verification exercise was not only to ensure accountability of the ballots, but also to expose attempts, calculated as they may be, to engage in vote rigging and vote padding. Failure to use the Presiding Officer’s Worksheet, prevented the process of reconciling the number of ballot papers brought to each center, the numbers of ballot papers cast, (including valid and invalid, replaced, spoiled, unused) at the close of the voting exercise. Regrettably, this very critical requirement that would have ensured accountability and credibility was deliberately disregarded by the NEC. Under these circumstances, it can never be determined, with any legal or rational certainty, the number of ballot papers properly used, probably stuffed, when there is no verifiable reference basis in terms of the number of ballot papers actually introduced by the NEC at each Polling Place. The entire electoral process was therefore compromised, warranting a rerun of the elections, and the Complaints so pray.
- In Margibi County, Precinct #24180, Polling Place #1, Liberty Party Poll Watcher noticed that around 6:30 p.m. after the Presiding Officer had notified them that the Polling Place was closed, and the ballot box had been sealed with seal numbers Pre-056965 and Pre-056961, a group of persons were noticed coming from the rear of the building. Surprisingly, the seals on the closed ballot box were broken, and those individuals were allowed to vote. The Poll Watcher requested for and was given a complaint form and a formal complaint was filed. Attached is a copy of the ruling of the Magistrate, which, among other things, confirmed the irregularity, marked as Complaints’ Exhibit “N.” Again, this shows a consistent pattern rather than just an isolated incident, and point to a conspiracy by the NEC or certain officials of the NEC.
- In Bongaplay, District #4, Nimba County, the NEC had only three polling places, when there should have been four. The voters who were being deprived of their constitutional right to vote, took matters into their own hands, and disrupted the voting.
- In Lofa County, Precinct #21128, a Liberty Party Poll Watcher was tied, beaten, and bruised by a Police Officer Jefferson Togbah on orders of the Presiding Officer, because he had continuously raised issues of counting irregularities–ballots that should have been counted in favor of Liberty Party, Charles W. Brumskine and Harrison Karnwea, was said to have been counted in favor of the Unity Party. Attached is the photo of the wounded Liberty Party Poll Watcher, as Complainants’ Exhibit “O.”
- Two young men, who do not appear to be NEC officials, but in any case, unaccompanied by a Police Officer, are wading in a body of water with sealed ballot boxes on their heads. Attached is a copy of the photo of the two young men with the ballot boxes marked as Complainants’ Exhibits “P.”
- Individuals, whether they are NEC officials or not, in a canoe carrying ballot boxes, are unaccompanied by a Police Officer, as shown in a photo, which is hereto attached as Complainants’ Exhibits “Q.”.
- In District #4, Klein Town, Polling Center #09085, Polling Place #1 in Grand Bassa County, ballots were cast in a bathing tub, instead of a sealed ballot box. The Presiding Officer, Mary Yarkpawolo, admits that a sealed ballot box was not used, but claims that what she used was an unsealed “Polling kit” and not a bathing tub. She claimed that a ballot box is not “sensitive material.” Attached hereto is copy of a transcript of a recording by a local journalist, who interviewed a Party Supervisor during the voting, as Complainants’ Exhibit “R.” If need be, the local journalist will be subpoenaed during the hearing. Also, attached hereto is copy of the Minutes of a Magistrate hearing, during which the Presiding Officer confirms that she did not use a sealed ballot box, as Complainants’ Exhibit “S.”
- In District #4, Kennedy Town, Polling Precinct 09039, Polling Place #2 in Grand Bassa County, ballots were cast in a carton box, instead of a sealed ballot box. The Presiding Officer, Patrick K. Ninwillay, admits that a sealed ballot box was not used, but claims that what he used was an unsealed “Polling kit” and not a cartoon. Attached hereto, as Complainants’ Exhibit “T” are copies copy of the minutes of the hearing of the candidate’s complaint, during which the Presiding Officer confirmed using was an unsealed “Polling kit.”
- In District #13, Montserrado County, voters cast their votes in a box that was not one of the regular ballot boxes. But what is of greater significance is that the box was open while voters cast their votes. Copies of the photos of the box are hereto attached as Complainants’ Exhibit “U.”.
- Complainants say that numerous other incidents occurred which violated the constitutional rights of the voters, and which have also been reported by independent and credible election observers, such as the European Union Election Observation Mission, referenced in in Count I.1(a) above, and the the Women’s Situation Room. Complainants hereby pray that judicial notice be taken of the public statement issued by the Women’s Situation Room (a non-partisan and neutral based forum organized pursuant to UNSCR 1325), issued on October 16, 2017, and entitled “Statement by the Women’s Situation Room – Liberia on the Conduct of the October 10, 2017 Presidential and Representative Election in Liberia.” The relevant portion of said statement is quoted verbatim below:
“However, reports from our observers across the country as well as data received from the public via the 1010 short code in our Call Centres pointed to some deficiencies on polling day. As at yesterday Sunday, 15th October, 2017 our two Call Centres received a total of 1086 incident reports. 784 of these incidents were NEC related while 302 were security related. … The NEC related calls were on issues of identification of voters polling places (voters who could not identify where they suppose to vote), NEC changing precinct locations thereby confusing voters with large number of invalid votes …, many of the polling precincts were in schools which were inaccessible to the physically challenged and the elderly, the late arrival of ballot boxes and voting materials in some”
The October 10 elections did not pass the minimum standards required for free, fair, and transparent elections. These elections were characterized by gross irregularities and fraud, which undermined the integrity of the elections and deprived thousands of Liberians of their constitutional right to vote. The violation of the Constitution and laws of Liberia, and the pervasiveness of the fraud and gross irregularities throughout the electoral process warrant a rerun of the Elections, and the Complainants so pray.
WHEREFORE AND IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, Complainants pray that the results of the October 10, 2017 Elections be annulled, and a rerun be ordered, in order to ensure that fair and transparent elections are held in accordance with the Constitution, Elections, and other laws of Liberia, and that the Board of Commissioners will stay the Second Round/Run-off, as announced by the National Elections Commission, and grant unto Complainants such other and further reliefs, as may be provided in law and equity.
Complainants, by and thru his Legal Counsel,
COUNSELLORS – AT-LAW
Dated this 23rd day of October, A. D. 2017.