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GC Wants Elections Results Announcement Days Reduced
Date Uploaded: May 10, 2017

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GC Wants Elections Results Announcement Days Reduced

By Joseph Toe

MONROVIA, May 9 (LINA) - The Governance Commission (GC) has called for the reduction of the period between the closing of the polls and the announcement of elections results, stating that the 15 days prescribed by the Elections Law “are far too long.”

The call is contained in the Commission’s 2016 annual report on Liberia’s electoral system for 2017, being cognizant of the Elections Law which prescribes that results of elections must be announced 15 days after Election Day.

The Commission pointed out that the provision is meant largely to account for transporting ballot boxes from hard-to-reach places and ensuring accuracy of the counting and reporting processes.

However, the Commission noted that an important balance has to be struck between ensuring accuracy in collating results and timeliness in the announcement of results.

“While the accuracy of results might be enhanced by patience and diligence in transmission and collation, delays in announcement heighten concerns about the legitimacy and integrity of the results,” the Commission said.

According to the Commission, experience in Liberia and in many developing countries has shown that a critical stage in the voting process is at the collation or tallying of votes.

The Commission stated that party representatives and elections observers typically widely cover the process of voting and the counting of the votes at the polls and if they are properly trained will be able to agree on the quality of each vote cast.

The Commission noted that risks and suspicions are heightened when ballots counted at the polls under the watchful eyes of party representatives and observers, including international observers are transported to collation centers, collated and results announced.

It added: “Results collated at collation centers may present a different picture from that which was seen at any specific polling station.”

The Commission indicated that transporting of ballots usually involves security presence or becomes the major responsibility of security officers.

Perceptions of the integrity of security forces, especially the police have a strong bearing on public trust in this aspect of the election process, the Commission said, adding that elections officers who manage this aspect of the process are also held under suspicion.”

The Commission pointed out that collation centers are often highly restricted sites that require a considerable amount of logistical mobilization.

Adequate logistical support, trained elections officers and ample representation of the media, observers and political party representatives must be ensured, the Commission emphasized.



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