Bong County Flag
Slow Pace Of VR Frustrates Bong Residents
By Philip T. Singbah, LINA Bong County Correspondent
GBARNGA, February 6 (LINA) - Several residents of Bong County have complained about the slow pace of the ongoing voter registration exercise in the county.
The residents, many whom spoke to the Liberia News Agency on the third day of the VR process at the weekend, said many of those recruited by the NEC to carry out the VR exercise lack apparently adequate knowledge about the process.
They noted that many of the NEC staff cannot spell even common names well and are finding it difficult to use some of the equipment assigned to them.
The residents explained that they have to stand in line for hours while photographers learn how to use the cameras.
They told LINA that they were surprised that the NEC left out many of its former staff who conducted previous elections in the county and recruited people who are finding it difficult to understand the exercise.
The residents are calling on the NEC to put in place measures to speed up the voter registration exercise, noting that failure to do so would result in many people failing to meet the deadline of registering before or on March 7.
LINA Correspondent in Bong County said there was massive turnout on the first and second days of the voter registration process, but the slow pace of the exercise is scaling down the turnout.
Meanwhile, the two NEC magistrates in the county Daniel Newland and Barsee Kpaingbai have assured the residents of the commission's commitment to speed-up the VR process.
Newland and Kpaingbai said although there were some hurdles, the National Elections Commission was doing all it can to ensure that citizens are registered for the October elections.
On recruitment, the two NEC officials clarified that those deployed by the commission to carry out the VR were vetted and trained to work, and encouraged those going to the centers to register to be patient and cooperate with the NEC staff in any difficulties they encounter.
In response to challenges facing the VR exercise nationwide, NEC Chairman Cllr. Jerome Korkoya has announced that there would be delays in the voter registration process due to technical problems created by the malfunctioning of digital cameras donated by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).
The UN agency had agreed to shoulder the responsibility of providing these materials to the commission for the conduct of the VR exercise across the country.
Cllr. Korkoya said the problems were not unique to Liberia, but typical of every electoral activity anywhere around the world.
He said the Commission will take the necessary steps to address the problem of the defective cameras.
The NEC Chairman however assured that the current situation will not derail the VR exercise.