By Morrison O.G. Sayon
The National Elections Commissions (NEC) has disclosed that at least 4,000 Liberians have been targeted under its Voter Roll Updates. Giving an overview of a two-day Regional Media Workshop on the Voter Roll Update and 2014 Special Senatorial Election, NEC’s Director for Communications, Joey T. Kennedy said of the 4,000 targeted Liberians, an estimated 250 have attained the age 18 and above and others who did not register for the 2011 Voter Registration exercise are Liberians who have returned from other parts of the world and those who have changed their location.
On the VRU strategy, Mr. Kennedy said NEC will send out 200 mobile teams covering 1,780 Voter Registration Centers that will stay three days at each center. He said the entire process will be carried out in 45 days.
“Each team will consist of five members, who will be using laptops with searchable database,” the NEC Communications Director pointed out. NEC targeted groups include, voters who turned 18 years since the last Voter Registration in 20011; eligible voters who did not register in 2011 and transfer voters meaning registered voters who wish to change their voting centers.
At the same time NEC has key electoral dates for the October 2014 Special Senatorial Election in the country. Activities for the Special Election have begun since September 15 with the Publication of Voter Roll Update Regulations. November 1-December 31, is the date set for the accreditation of observers, party agents, and media for the VRU process.
January 4, 2014 will be the launch of the Civic and Voter Education throughout the country on the Voter Roll Update; January 13 to March5 is set for the voter roll update while, April 28-May 2, is time for exhibition (claims and objections) of provisional registration roll (Voter list). April 28-May 12, determination of claims and objections on exhibition, May 9, issuance of writ of election; June 9-30, 2013, accreditation of observers, party agents, and media for the election, while, June 30, 2014 is the release of final VR Update figures.
July 2-24, 2014 candidate nomination period; July 2-Aughst 9, objections and appeals on nomination held and determined; July 4, 2014, launch of civil and voter education on election; July 7-12, period for replacement of lost and damaged Voter registration cards; August 12-October 12, 2014 final list of candidates published while political campaign begins from August 12-October 12, 2014.
August 15-September 30 is candidates debate; October 14, 2014 Election Day while, the announcement of final results of the Special Senatorial Election will be on October 29, 2014. NEC has clarified that the calendar of events is subject to adjustments depending on prevailing circumstances.
Meanwhile, the National Elections Commission (NEC) has ended a Regional Media Worship in Buchanan City, Grand Bassa County. The workshop which brought together 38 journalists from Montserrado, Rivercess and Grand Bassa Counties was aimed at training media practitioners on the Voter Roll Update.
The media is to assist NEC in its Civic Voter Education exercise and educate the citizens of their rights to participate in the upcoming Special Senatorial Election.