Monrovia - The Liberia Early Warning and Response group (LEEWARG) has released its first election situation report, which points to the slow turnout of voters, the late opening of some polling places, and effectiveness of queue controller as part of its initial observation.
The West Africa Network for Peace Building (WANEP), in collaboration with its partners, on Tuesday, December 26, 2017 resumed the operations of the “Liberia Elections Early Warning and Response Group (LEEWARG) Election Situation Room (LEEWARG) so as to monitor the Presidential Run-off Election.
The Co-Chairperson of the LEEWARG, Ambassador William R. Tolbert, III, noted that there were some improvements in the voting process but added that there were hitches at other centers across the country.
Tolbert said voters’ turnout has been generally low in all the centers monitored so far.
“Voting generally started on time in all the centers monitored. However, in the case of Legbanga Polling Center, Lofa County District #1, Polling Place 3 as of 12:00 Noon the FRR was not available."
" As a consequence, voting started late. In Biafra community, Grand Bassa County, there was no voter turnout up to 11:30am eve though poll workers were in place,” he said.
Amb. Tolbert said in Bassa Community, Maryland County, six voters were not allowed to vote because their names were not on the FRR.
Amb. Tolbert added that a 22 year-old male was arrested for attempting to vote a second time, using a different voting card.
“He had voted earlier at 8:20am.#At St. Mary’s Elementary School, Polling Center, #33149, Nimba County, Police arrested ballot issuer on complaints of directing voters. Information provided during investigation indicates that polling staff was working on another person’s name,” Amb. Tolbert said.
“The queue controllers were effective in helping voters to identify their polling centers coupled with increase of cubicles at every polling place made the process of voting orderly and rapid.
In the case at the Beletah Palava Hut - #06005, Bong County, polling place #2, there was no queue controller.
Presiding Officer and Electoral Supervisor were notified,” he said.
Liberia Peace Ambassador averred that in Montserrado County District #3, Polling Place #1- 30276, previously located at Sacca Building was relocated at Macdonell Senior High School, without prior notice.
This resulted to late start of voting.
Amb. Tolbert reported that representatives of political parties were present at most polling places.
“It was observed that security sector personnel were deployed at various polling centers and there were no reports of violence,” Amb Tolbert added.
He added that Followed up with NEC on reports from the field monitors and observers on the late opening of polling centers and other irregularities.
Amb. Tolbert said the group’s main focus is to facilitate collation, analysis and response to reports sent by monitors/observers.
He said during the entire run-off process, a total number of 25 personnel were deployed in three sections of the ESR.
He named the three sections as: Data Gathering Section, Analysis Section and Decision-making Section.