Presidential Election Going Well in Bong Amid Low Turnout

GBARNGA, Bong – The senior magistrate for the National Elections Commission in Upper Bong, Daniel Newland, says the voting process is going on “smooth” in his magisterial area amid “slow turnout” of voters.

Newland told The Bush Chicken that voters are turning out and there are “no complaints so far” about their names not being on the voter roll.

Polling places such as the David Kuyon Sports Stadium, John F. Bakalu, N. V. Massaquoi High School and William V.S. Tubman Gray High School in Gbarnga, Bong opened doors at 8:00 a.m. this morning to allow voters to cast their ballots.

Security personnel from the Liberia National Police and the Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization were seen deployed at most polling places visited by The Bush Chicken’s reporter in Bong.

Representatives of the Coalition for Democratic Change and the Unity Party were also at the various polling places as well as observers from civil society organizations.

Unlike the long queues that characterized the October 10, 2017 elections, today’s runoff saw the reverse- there were visually shorter or no queues at most of the precincts.

Some of the voters who spoke with The Bush Chicken acknowledged the fact that there was a slow turnout.

Arthur Bondo, the head of the Bong County Disable Association, said the voting process was much “easier” today.

“As compared to October 10, the voting is not so hard today. I just came and less than 15 minutes, I am done and on my way home,” Bondo said.

Arthur Bondo, head of the Bong County Disable Association. Photo: Moses Bailey.

He wants the next administration to prioritize catering to persons living with disabilities.

“I want our next government to develop programs that will help us and our children,” he said.

Bondo also said he wants the incoming government to invest in infrastructure development such as roads, electricity, and water supply for major cities like Gbarnga.

Poll workers said there were slow turnouts at precincts in Gboata, Palala, Jannipeleta, and Bella in Bong.

The low or slow turnout may not be unique to Bong, as other towns in Nimba were experiencing the same. At the William V. S. Tubman Public School in Kpein, Nimba, the low turnout was notable. Idle queue controllers were seen sitting because of the slow turnout of voters.

Featured photo by Moses Bailey

Moses Bailey

Moses started his journalism career in 2010 as a reporter at Radio Gbarnga. In 2011, the Press Union of Liberia recognized him as the Human Rights Reporter of the Year. In 2017, he was the Development Reporter of the Year. He is also an Internews Health Journalism Fellow. Moses is also the regional coordinator for NAYMOTE-Liberia, an organization working with youth to promote democratic governance.

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