Monrovia - In preparation to observe the Voter Registration Process, the Elections Coordinating Committee (ECC) organized two stakeholders’ engagement to validate its observation deployment and communications strategies, on December 28 and 29, 2016, respectively.
The forum for the first day included representatives from Civil Society Organizations and the National Elections Commission while the second engagement included Executives from both the print and electronic media.
The objective of the Deployment Strategy is to guide the ECC in observing the voter registration exercise to be conducted by the National Elections Commission (NEC).
On the other hand, the objective of the Communication Strategy is to lay the framework for engaging the media and other electoral stakeholders.
The ECC will recruit, train and deploy 73 long term observers and 16 County Coordinators.
The observation will cover all of the 73 Electoral Districts in the country. Each Observer will be assigned to an electoral district.
The Coordinators will serve as supervisors for the observerswho will cover specificRegistration Centers during the voter registration period by gathering quality information about the process and reporting directly to the ECC Secretariat.
The observation will also include the Exhibition Period of preliminary voters list as well as the process of rejection of particular individuals if any, and complaint hearing emanating from the rejection.
The observation will be done in phases and will cover 15 of the total number of days stipulated by the NEC. Phase one will target 5 days of the first week, phase two 5 days during the middle of the process and phase three 5 days during the last week.
Periodic and provisional statements will be released at the end of every phase of the observation and a comprehensive report at the end of the third and final phase.
During the observation, the ECC will be looking out for easy access to Registration Centers by citizens particularly the elderly, pregnant women and people who are physically and visually impaired.
The observation will also include the extent to which NEC is in compliance with the Voter Registration Regulation and Elections Law,identifying obstacles and challenges that could impede the registration process andassessing whether there are patterns and trends in denying particular groups of potential voters from registering.
To improve the quality of data that will be collected, the Observers will be trained in the use of checklist and critical incident forms that will be developed by the ECC.
The checklist and critical incident forms will be the instruments by which information will be gathered.
As the nation prepares for the Voter Registration period the ECC is calling on the NEC to hold political parties and candidates accountable for using other forms of gatherings as a pretext to engage in political campaigning outside of the stipulated time set by the NEC.
The ECC is the civil society platform that observes elections in Liberia and works in partnership with the National Democratic Institute with support from USAID. The work of the ECC can be accessed on.