Special Awards In Pictures

-To Ensure Zero Invalid Vote
The National Elections Commission (NEC) as part of its functions has begun the training of Presiding Officers (PO), Ballot Paper Issuers (BPI), Ballot Box Controllers and Voter Identification Officers (VIO) across the country ahead of the pending October 10 polls.

The training is aimed at reducing the huge percentage of invalid votes and to enable the commission carry out the process in a smooth and safe space, as the process is the gateway to lasting peace and stability in Liberia.

In 2005, the total number of invalid votes count were put at 3.8 percent of the total of 1, 012, 673 vote cast and 76, 912 invalid votes of the total votes of 615, 703 (34.2) percent in 2011 respectively.

Against this backdrop, NEC and partners have begun training for contemporary poll workers to be knowledgeable of the work they will be engaged with as poll workers.
The objective of training for the polling activities, is meant for people who have been trained, to practice and hold the process of reconciliation to serve the county and country in general as well as the holding of the election results.
The training is currently ongoing at three training centers in four locations within upper Nimba as well as lower and central Nimba County so as to avoid repeating the mistakes in the last two elections.
Speaking to the Assistant Magistrate of Upper Nimba County, he alleged that poll workers in the past elections had contributed to the huge percentage of invalid vote across Liberia due to lack of understanding of the elections process, therefore, such training was necessary.
Milton Paye stated that regular elections are the gateway to development of every nation, therefore it is banning upon the commission to resolve any problem identified before the conduct of election, to make it better for everyone.
“Except that we will conclude that it is an objective from the NEC alone, but this is something that should be every Liberian objective when it comes to the conduct of the election process, without confusion, violence and let it be done conventionally just like how elections are being conducted in other countries. With this, it is expected that comes October 10, we all will wear the cap of responsibility,” Paye said.
The elections commission according to him, since 2005 had been having problems due to the employment of people who he said were not knowledgeable, saying it is something the commission wants to prevent this time.
This is a new recruitment process, but it is unfortunate those recruited to found part of this process are old staffs due to crucial time of the election and the commission does not have the time and resources to incorporate or train new groups of people.
Paye affirmed that people particularly college graduates are becoming to understand the elections process because it is self-explanatory when it comes to the training.
The NEC Upper Nimba Magistrate further named recruitment as major challenge for the commission in term of arriving at the right person to be recruited.
“That is the reason why after the recruitment we still give training and after the training we do testing and evaluation,” he added. Magistrate Paye noted it is a challenge because it reduces the speed at which they (commissioners or magistrates) are moving toward the deployment of staffs in the entire process and how they can arrival at the proper person for the process.
“We have fewer communities that are highly inaccessible by road or motorbike, but the NEC is ready to support it in term of providing canoes crossing fees and so everything is on course with the commission and awaiting the final day to perform the process the proper way so that at the end of the day, we all can say yes we were part of this history making,” he concluded.

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