NEC, NIR Rollup Sleeves to Enlighten Political Parties on the Implementation of the Biometric Voters Registration in Liberia 

Representatives of Political along with Officials of NEC and NIR Posed for a Picture after the Technical Review Workshop at the Buchanan City Hall

Buchanan, Grand Bassa County – The National Election Commission (NEC) and the National Identification Registry (NIR) have conducted a one-day technical review workshop with political parties to enlighten them about the implementation of the biometric voters’ registration for the 2023 General and Presidential Election.

The technical review workshop that was held in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County is intended for political parties to understand the role of the biometric system and to understand the collaboration between NEC and the NIR.

The biometric process when completed will ease the issue of multiple voter registrations and prevent individuals who are under-age persons that want to take part in the voting process from being registered.

Speaking at the workshop, the Executive Director J. Tiah Nagbe of NIR praised representatives of the political parties and asked for their fullest collaboration in the biometric voter registration process.

According to him, NIR is not going to get involved with the biometric registration process. After the registration, he said the NIR will receive the data from NEC and will later on send the data to the Liberia Statistic Geo-Information Service (LISGIS).

“Some counties now are using their population register. So, all of these things we are doing will make the census easy in the future so that we might actually stop doing the census because of the data we have received. Liberia might stop doing census because of the registration -when you are doing daily updates, the information of that data is more credible then every 10 years,” Nagbe said.

Also, S. Isaac Zahn is the Director of Data Center at NEC. He said 30 million is needed for the full implementation of the voter biometric registration process.

According to Zahn, the process of creating a biometric system requires time. He added that with the technological improvement, his team is sure of completing the biometric registration process in time for the conduct of the 2023 election.

“It will take us 40 to 60 days to have a good data system up and running with the implementation of the biometric system. We from the NEC have visited other institutions that have done this and we have learned great lessons and so we are setting that it can be done,” Zahn said.

The Director of Data Center at NEC stressed that the biometrics process when completed will help many government entities.

“From the discussion we have been having from across the country, even the police, Health, Internal Affairs will benefit from what the NEC is doing -it is not just the NIR alone that will benefit, everyone will benefit,” he said.

Also, Cllr. Ernestine Morgan Awar says the issue of funding is paramount to the process. She calls on political parties’ representatives at the workshop to call on their Lawmakers to allocate funding for the process.

Cllr. Awar added: “Our team at NEC is working in the best interest of Liberia. Political parties need to consolidate the efforts of NEC.”

Political Parties Welcome the Voters Biometric Registration Process

Also, the Youth Chairman the Movement of Economic Empowerment (MOVEE) K. Edward Norman said the coming in the biometric voter registration process is a dream come true.

“For the NEC to be leaving from the old system to a modern one, that is the biometric system of voter registration. I think it is a good thing. It will ease the issue of multiple voter registrations,” Norman said.

The MOVEE Youth Chairman added: “If the resource that is needed to execute this very fine plan is given, Liberia will be on the right trajectory as to other countries around the globe.”

 According to Norman, the only stumbling block to the biometric process is the funding which is said to be 30 million dollars.

“If the government can spend the money by the next six years, they will not spend the same amount because the system will be set up and they can just flow from there. Funding is the major obstacle I see right now. As political parties, we do not hold the national cake; the cake is being controlled by the ruling establishment. So, our part is that we will make sure we encourage the national government to ensure that the requisite funding is given to NEC to make this process a success,” he said.

Adding up, Theodore Momo is the Chairman of the All Liberian Political Party. He told FrontPage Africa that his party supports the voter registration biometric process.

“As constituent political parties, the ALP supports count number one in the decision-making process that calls for NEC to undertake the biometric voter registration process and develop it into a voter roll and after the election, the database can be sent to NIR. So, the ALP supports that stance and we add our voice to call on the government to provide the required resources for the process. 

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