With less than five months to the conduct of the Special Senatorial Election in the country, the National Elections Commission (NEC) has launched its Civic Voter Education Baseline in Monrovia.
The Civic Voter Education Baseline Survey is intended to enable the
NEC to continue the conduct of free, fair and credible elections in
Liberia. Speaking at the launch of the CVE Baseline at the headquarters of the
NEC on Wednesday, a Commissioner of the National Elections Commission
with Oversight responsibility on CVE, Samuel Joe, described the launch
as a milestone in the life of the Electoral process in the country.
Mr. Joe said the Baseline Study Report comes at a time when all eyes;
are on the conduct of the October 2014 Special Senatorial Election. He said the Elections Baseline Survey conducted by the Liberia Media
Center (LMC) on Civic and Voter Education was undertaken with the
objective of enabling the National Elections Commission (NEC) to
continue the conduct of free, fair and credible elections in Liberia. Mr. Joe emphasized that Civic Voter Education is broader in scope as
it refers to the dissemination of information about a country’s
political system within the context of providing citizens with an
understanding of their rights and responsibility.
He added that voter education on the other hand, refers to the
dissemination of information, materials and programs designed to inform
voters about the specifics as well as the steps and procedures of the
voting process for a particular election. According to Mr. Joe, the survey among other things shows that youths
appear far more knowledgeable and aware of the electoral process as
compared to other target groups. He disclosed that seventy-three percent
of the youth population were either aware or highly aware of the
electoral process; that women, CBOs and persons with disabilities also
demonstrate high levels of awareness with 53%, 63%, and 56%
respectively; that half of the participants associated as “Ordinary
citizens” was not aware, showing a close correlation to the survey main
The NEC Commissioner also added that the majority of the respondents
have interest in the upcoming Senatorial Elections as 86% of them have
registered to vote and that only 14% said they had not registered. Upon this survey NEC maintained that there should be a robust civic
voter education program that will engender the mass of participation of
all stakeholders, and the information on the electoral process be sent
in every corner of the country. Meanwhile, Commissioner Joe has further disclosed that the Baseline
has helped to bring marginalized groups such as women and the disabled
on board as this has been their fear in the political community of men.
He said the survey also gives an insight in the casting of ballots
and the sorting, and counting and tallying processes, thereby
discouraging the widespread misconception that no one wins fairly.
He also commended the Liberia Media Center for its report and other
partners including the UNDP and IFES for their support. Commissioner Joe
also praised the CVE Section of NEC, the BOC and the entire NEC family
for the hard work being carried out to ensure a successful conduct of
the 2014 Special Election.
Source: The Monrovia Inquirer