Monrovia –The National Elections Commission (NEC), through its Chairperson, Madam Davidetta Brown Lasanah, has announced the holding of special elections for over 3,000 voters who did not cast their ballots in parts of Gbarpolu, Grand Gedeh and Nimba Counties.
Addressing its first post elections’ press conference at its national headquarters, the NEC Board of Commissioners, through Madam Lasanah said in Gbarpolu County Electoral District #3, Precinct Code #45039, comprising four polling places with 2,021 registered voters did not open because the Town Chief of the area ceased all of the ballot boxes for unknown reasons.
Madam Lasanah also said in Grand Gedeh County Electoral District #3 at the Gbarblor Public School, Precinct code #15001 with one polling place of 430 registered voters, some citizens convinced voters not to vote because the name of a different was written on the ballot box; while at two precincts in Nimba County, voters were denied their right to exercise their franchise because polling staff did not show up to conduct the process.
The rare incidents, according to the NEC boss, occurred in Electoral District #2, at the Tiapa Public School Precinct with code number 33100, comprising two polling places with the total number 706 registered voters. The other place, also in Electoral #2 at a Public School, Precinct #33052, with one polling place of 290 registered voters.
Madam Lasanah did not show specific time for these special elections but said investigations teams have been dispatched by the NEC to ascertain the facts that led to these irregularities.
She also mentioned that in Lower Nimba, at the Tappeh Memorial High school in Tappita City, two temporary election staff were caught with polling boxes containing ballot papers.
According to her, the staff said they took the boxes to their homes for safe keeping after the count; adding that Police investigations revealed that the seals on the boxes were corresponding to the seals recorded by the party agents.
The local NEC office, she noted, has taken delivery of the boxes while investigation is ongoing. She clarified that voting took place at the center but the incident occurred around 11:30pm on December 8, election night after the votes have been counted.
When asked about how grave were these anomalies and what impact they could have on the elections, the NEC Chair played down the incidents and said they were not too grave to overturn the elections.
“There would be no grave impact because these incidents are not grave enough to overturn the process. We have been addressing them heads on,” she said.
“We have put in place mechanisms to ensure that what I previously red to you concerning where trouble was and where elections are not held , we are sending assessment teams there to gather the facts and those places where we have no elections will be held there.”
She also said tallying of results has got underway across the country and preliminary results are expected to be announced soon.