Chapter 4, Sections 4.1(2) of the revised New Elections Law of 2014 states “The number of registered voters in every precinct shall be approximately equal, and unless the Commission in any particular case so determines, the number of registered voters in any precinct shall not exceed three thousand (3000).”
Liberians are now stepping by day towards their much anticipated October 10, 2023, presidential and legislative elections, when the country will be heading to the polls to constitutionally elect its next leaders.
The dawn of each day draws the nation and its people to a place where registered Liberian voters will go to their designated polling precincts to cast their ballots.
Anxiety for the voting day rapidly mounts, but complaints about irregularities in the election process seem to also be building as the D-Day fast approaches.
The latest complaint was seen emanating from the former ruling Unity Party (UP) about what it describes as the intentional violation of the election law by the National Elections Commission (NEC) to overcrowd precincts.
What is a precinct in an election?
A precinct is one of several designated parts of an electoral territory, each containing a polling place with definite bounds and functions.
Are there precincts that exceed the three thousand (3000) voter provisions?
In what is believed to be a violation of Chapter 4, Section 4.1(2) of the New Election Law of 2014, there are many precincts across the country with over three thousand (3000) registered voters, contrary to what the law provides. In Montserrado County, like many other precincts in the county, the Sis. Iye School System, Kebah, in District #11 has 3,805 voters.
Also, the Dean Town Public School, Dean Town-Gold Camp, in District #1, Bong County, has 3,518 voters, similar to other precincts in the county. Unlike some other counties’ precincts that exceed the three thousand (3000) benchmark provided by law, the A.C.F.I. School, God Blessed You Hill precinct in District #3 Grand Bassa County is the only precinct in that county to exceed said benchmark, with a total of 3,427 voters.
Lofa, the 5th vote-rich county with 177,129 registered voters, is also not left out in the exceeding number of voters. Tambah Tailor Public Elementary School, Shelloe, District #1, has 3,984 voters, among many other precincts across the county.
There are also precincts with more than four thousand (4000) voters
The over three thousand (3000) voters in many precincts across so many electoral districts in Liberia do not seem to be the only existing issue. There are also precincts in the country that have more than four thousand (4,000) voters, far exceeding the required number. Many of them are from Montserrado County, the biggest vote-rich county.
The Monrovia Vocational Training Center, Double Bridge A precinct in District #2, Montserrado County, has 4,584 voters.
Also, the Future Builders Academy, New Israel, has 4,104 voters.
The Moore Public School, Gbengbar Town, Block C, has 4,382, the Helen Teah Memory Christian Institute, Borbor Town C, has 4,174 voters, and the Cavalry Chapel Mission School, Lower Rehab, has 4,256.
The Bible Way Mission School, Christian Community A precinct also has 4,053, all of them emanating from District #6, Montserrado County.
How is the NEC dealing with this?
The Communication Director of the NEC, Henry Flomo, said in his response, “This matter is already in court, meaning it can’t be discussed further. Follow the case.”