LIBERIA: ECC Deploys Election Observes for the Lofa Senatorial By-elections, June 28, 2022

The Elections Coordinating Committee (ECC) has deployed 168 domestic election observers in all of the 5 electoral districts of Lofa County to observe the June 28, 2022 Lofa Senatorial by-election to increase public confidence in the electoral process and its outcome.

Election Day Observation Methodology

Of the 168 observers, 162 are deployed at specific voting precincts throughout the election day to report on the opening, set-up, voting, closing, counting and tabulation of results. This deployment methodology will enable the ECC to comment on the process by drawing on data points from every district within the county. Additionally, 5 (five) observers will be deployed as Electoral District Supervisors and 1 (one) County Coordinator who will roam to observe the general electoral environment while at the same time supervising the activities of the precinct observers and reporting critical incidents whenever they occur.

All the observers were trained to use an observation checklist and critical incidence forms that covers all the procedures of polling and counting. The ECC has also established a Data Information Center (DIC) in Monrovia where 16 trained data clerks will receive observation reports on the opening of polls, voting and closing. ECC will produce a mid-day report on June 28, 2022 on the opening and set up of polling as well as a final press conference on June 30, 2022 on the voting and closing of the polls.

At the same time, the (ECC) is deeply concerned about the replacement of lost and damaged voter cards conducted by the National Elections Commission (NEC) in March, 2022.  According to a report received by the ECC, the process of replacing lost and damaged cards took place in only two of the five electoral districts in Lofa County, namely, Kolahun and Voinjama. The ECC believes that to conduct the process in these two locations means other citizens who wished to replace their lost or damaged voter cards were denied the opportunity to do so. It is also not clear to the ECC the rationale or criteria used by the NEC in selecting the two districts as against the other three districts. The replacement of lost and damaged voter cards in two districts has the potential to create tension on election day and could heighten a situation that is already politically charged.

Despite this, ECC encourages all electoral stakeholders such as the NEC, political parties, and security to exercise restraint in dealing with voters on election day who may feel excluded because of the situation aforementioned. In the meantime, the ECC welcomes the peaceful conduct of the campaign process, encouraging all eligible voters to turn out peacefully and vote on June 28. The ECC also calls on candidates with grievances to use the legal process and the dispute resolution mechanism in place at the NEC.

About the ECC:

The Elections Coordinating Committee (ECC), is the largest civil society platform that observes elections in comprising several organizations: Center for Democratic Governance (CDG); Center for Media Studies and Peace Building (CEMESP); Center for Conflict Prevention and Peacebuilding (CECPAP), Institute for Research and Democratic Development (IREDD); Naymote Partners for Democratic Development; West Africa Network for Peace Building (WANEP), and the Women’s NGO Secretariat of Liberia (WONGOSOL). It works in partnership with Democracy International with support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

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