Voters Complain About Lack of Voter Education in Smaller Towns

YARPAH TOWN, River Cess – With a few days to election day, voters in River Cess have been complaining they have not seen any voter educators in their communities.

On an election-themed show on Echo Radio, almost 30 listeners called in from different towns and villages saying that they had not seen any personnel from the National Elections Commission’s Civic and Voter Education unit in their areas.

“The people are only seen on the main road during market days,” David Stryker, a resident of Stewart Town said. “And not everyone can go to the market ground.”

Comfort Konway, a women leader in Gbloseo Town, said she feared that there would be a surplus of invalid votes.

“I think there will be plenty invalid votes because the people who [are] supposed to teach the first-time voters and the elderly people are not doing it,” Konway said. “They only walk on the main road and forget to know that there are people in these towns.”

“For me, I’m not talking about myself, because I know how to vote,” Joseph Wee, a resident of Tompo Town said. “But there are children [for whom] this is their first time.”

When contacted, William Tompoe, the elections magistrate, said, “This is surprising, because we got civic educators in the field.”

Oretha Kollors, one of such civic educators, told The Bush Chicken that her assignment is on the main road and not in the villages.

Nathaniel Wilson, the head of civic education in the county, said his team is targeting larger towns.

“This why our teams are always on the market grounds because they cannot go to the villages,” he said. “We know that people from these towns and villages are often on these market grounds.”

River Cess registered 35,600 voters, according to the elections commission’s final voter roll.

Featured photo by Eric Doue

Eric Doue

Eric Opa Doue is a co-founder of Echo Radio Station, which does a series of programs in Bassa, Kru, and simple Liberian English. Under his leadership, Echo Radio was selected as one of the Moody Radio global partners for training opportunities in 2013 and 2014. Eric was one of a handful of reporters who received training from Internews in 2015 on humanitarian reporting during the Ebola outbreak in Liberia. He holds a diploma in Journalism, from the Ghana Institute of Journalism.

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