NEC Provides Update On Status Of 2023 Election

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The National Elections Commission (NEC) has provided an update on the status of preparation for the 2022/23 voter registration process.

   Speaking during a press conference at the NEC headquarters on Wednesday, August 31, 2022, Davidetta Browne-Lansanah said during the past year the commission has been making preliminary plans for the 2023 general elections, with emphasis on transitioning from the manual optical Mark Recognition (OMR) system to biometric technology for the registration of voters.

   She listed some of the advantages of the biometric voter registration, which includes prevention of multiple registrations and accuracy of information collected for each registered voter, creation of unique lifetime voter identification for each registered voter, eradication of voter impersonation, removal of duplicated records from the voter registration system and eradication of issues related to unintentional errors during the data entry process.

   “The registration exercise will begin on December 15, 2022 and end in March 17, 2023. During the voter registration exercise, portable tablets with scanners will be used and the data entry process, which will be performed by use of a customized software, will capture each applicant’s particulars, including facial image,” Chairperson Browne-Lansannah stated.

   According to her, fingerprint scanners will be used to capture the thumbprints of each applicant, an initial de- duplication will be performed to each registration center or voter registration cards with special features will be printed and issued to voters at the center.

    Davidetta Browne Lansanah said the commission has decided that the biometric voter registration will be done in three phases on a regional basis, and the registration teams will be stationed at each center to deploy in a region. All registration centers in that region will be opened for three weeks, and after the three weeks the teams will move to another region.

   Region 1 will cover Montserrado, Bomi, Gbarpolu, and Grand cape Mount countries, and will start from December 15 and end on January 6, 2023.

   Region 2 will cover Bong, Grand Bassa, Lofa, and Margibi counties, and will start from January 21, 2023 and end on February 10, 2023.

   Region 3 (phase three) will cover Grand Gedeh, Grand Kru, Maryland, Nimba, River Gee, Rivercess and Sinoe countries, and will start from February 25, 2023 and end on March 17, 2023.

   She further said NEC is working with the government to adjust the submitted 2023 comprehensive election budget of US$61 million.

   Meanwhile, the Government of Liberia (GOL) appropriated and approved in the National Budget for fiscal year 2022 the amount of US$20,000,000.00 (twenty million United States dollars) for the National Elections Commission (NEC). This amount represents partial funding to enable the NEC to conduct voter registration and other preliminary electoral activities in the country.

   NEC has introduced a new variable in its civic and voter education (CVE) program by the commission to set up 73 CVE cells in each of the 73 districts to do regular grassroots voter education activities across the country.

   The recruitment exercise for community-based organizations to run these cells is being supported by NEC and UNDP Liberia Election Support Project.

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