Liberia: Poor Voter Turnout Overshadow Senatorial By-Elections
Monrovia – Polling places in Monrovia have shown a low turnout of voters’ early Tuesday morning.
Report by Bettie K. Johnson-Mbayo, [email protected]
Despite the poor turn out some voters are gradually trooping in to vote at polling centers.
Polls, according to the National Elections Commission (NEC), were opened at 8:00AM but cues were empty as polling staffs were only seen at the entrances of the centers.
In an interview with FPA, some eligible voters said they had no interest in going to vote on grounds that the candidates did not unveil their platforms.
Others attributed their refusal to vote on the economic hardship naming the exchange rate, and high increase in price of food.
Eliza Tweh says though she voted the current government, she is not encouraged to vote because the government has not delivered any of their promises to the citizenry.
Theresa Dahn is an observer of the Coalition of Democratic Change at the Rally Town Market in Monrovia, said only 20 persons had gone to vote at the time.
It was noon when she said low turnout of voters is probably because of the holiday and they are carrying on home chores.
She said the process is smooth and the NEC staffs are finding voters names as compared to the 2017 elections.
Cecelia Doe an observer of the Unity Party said she is hoping that more voters’ turnout to vote because the current voter turnout is not favorable, though people are walking in freely.
“There was poor awareness so we think this is the reason why the turnout is poor because even my family I had to persuade them to come.”
NEC Polling Officer (P.O) Tom Wion alias Picardo said the turnout is so slow despite polling materials are available.
He said the turnout is discouraging because the lines are empty. “People are walking in at their own time,” he said.
Francis Greaves, Chair of the National Civil Society Council of Liberia said the low turnout should serve as a wakeup call to Liberians that the young democracy is under threat.
She said there is a need to reflect and take the initiative to address and take the issue because in one or two years Liberia will be going to the polls to vote in the general elections.
She expressed regret on the low turnout. “There is so much reluctance to democracy,” She said
“We need to ensure that much awareness is created and we develop a holistic approach.”