National Observers in Cape Mount Allege NEC Denied Them Access to Vote

By Jenneh S. Kemokai |

National Observers in Grand Cape Mount County have alleged that they were denied to exercise their voting rights because they were not assigned to the areas where they registered during the voter registration process.

According to the observer Morris Wise who was assigned at Latia Public School with polling place number 12054, he and all the observers that were assigned to that polling place did not vote.

At the Sinje Precinct with code 12029, political party observers disclosed they were assigned at the Precinct with 5 polling places in each of the rooms. The Sinje precinct had at least 20 national observers and alleged that they were denied to vote. According to Mohammed Johnson and Massa Kromah, they both were denied of their rights to vote because they didn’t register to where they were assigned and they expressed disappointment in the poll workers.

When contacted the Election Supervisor for those Polling Places, Armah Degbo said they were trained and told not to allow the National observers to vote at polling places where they are assigned because they didn’t register there.

Two of the observers who also said they both registered in Districts #1 & 3 were denied something which according to them didn’t go down well with them because it was their right to work and also vote in the County where they registered and assigned as national observers.

Mr Edwin Baol one of the Preserving Officers said they were only told to allow NEC temporary staff to vote where they are working and not National Observers and therefore no national observers voted in his polling room 2 with code 12029.

According to the Magistrate of Cape Mount Mr Jospeh Kiazolu, he said the poll workers didn’t follow what they were taught, according to him they were told to allow the National Observers who registered in Cape Mount and were assigned to polling places to vote for President and Senators but not to deny them. He at the same time express concerned about what they poll workers did and promised to look into the matters to avoid another during the Presidential run off slated in November 2023.

It can be recalled over the years during presidential and legislative elections in post-war Liberia, the National Elections Commission (NEC) in keeping with its internal policy has always allowed Poll Workers and National Observers to usually vote to where they are assigned by the NEC and as well as those National Observers assigned by their respective political parties to wherever polling precincts they are assigned.

According to the NEC, this is the first time it has received complaints from National Observers that they were denied their rights to vote in Grand Cape Mount County because they were assigned to where did not register to vote. The NEC, through its local county Magisterial office has assured the general public and party observers that the unfortunate situation will not be repeated during the pending Presidential Runoff slated for November 2023.

It can be recalled at least more than 25 national poll observers at the Sinje Precinct in Grand Mount Country were reportedly denied their democratic rights to votes, a situation the NEC Magisterial Office in the county has regretted and have assured the public and residents of Cape Mount that the unfortunately situation will not be repeated in the pending Presidential Runoff slated for November 2023

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