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-Says Bong Magistrate; Promises Smooth Conduct
Considering the crucial nature of the 0ctober 10 polls, the Elections Commission Bong County chapter has deployed 29 civic and voter educators in the field aimed at continuing sensitizing on the election.

According to the senior election magistrate of lower Bong County, he said the 2017 election is tense because it is an eyebrow election as it marks the first time in 73 years that Liberia will be transitioning from one elected government to another.

Speaking recently in an interview with Internews Women Journalists Fellow (IWJF), Barsee Kpaingbai said this is the first time that Liberia is having real democratic elections and people are becoming to understand the proceedings inspite of challenges.

He further stated that there have been rumors circulating about people threatening to disturb the election process and as such it is equally necessary to continue the civic and voter education process up to the day of elections and political parties must take charge.

The Bong County senior magistrate maintained that the 2017 elections is straightly Liberian elections, noting that it is the first election that country and the elections commission have responsibility to conduct on their own without interference of other nations.

Kpaingbai explained that the 2005 and 2011 elections witnessed the huge presence and interference of UNMIL and international partners helping to give some ground support, but the 2017 election is different as everything is being done by the NEC.

‘All the elections we have conducted, for instance, in 2005 we had lots of UNMIL and logistics were being provided by them. We had a joint position training electoral staff, but notwithstanding the 2017 election heavily rests upon the NEC.”

Kpaingbai further said election magistrates are doing everything professionally possible to ensure they conduct free, fair, and transparent election.

With the level of training and knowledge gained over time, he said the NEC is now driving the process on its own. On the issue of invalid votes, he said they do not expect to see huge percentage of invalid votes with the level of publicity they have had with the civic and voter education aspect of the election.

Lower Bong County comprises of district 5, 6, and 7 and a portion of district 2, 3, and 4. There are 235 polling places and lower bong county has the 95, 646 total number of registered voters who are expected to turn out at the polling centers on Tuesday October 10, 2017.

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