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 NEC Announces Arrival of Ballot Papers September 24th, 2017

MONROVIA-----The National Elections Commission (NEC) has announced the arrival of the presidential ballot papers from the European state of Slovenia.

The Chairman of the NEC, Cllr. Jerome Korkoya, speaking at a special arranged press conference at the headquarters of the commission on Sunday September 24, 2017, said the ballot papers arrived last night (September 23) at the Roberts International Airport onboard a chartered Egypt cargo aircraft.

The Liberia National Police had deployed armed men at the airport to provide maximum protection. The armed police also escorted the ballot papers to the NEC headquarters in Monrovia. To keep the commitment of openness, the media was represented at the arrival, allowed to view the offloading and movement of the ballot papers from the aircraft and out of the airport.

Chairman Korkoya said the distribution of the presidential ballot papers to all 5390 polling places throughout the country will begin next week. He said the representative ballot papers will arrive in the country from Ghana on or before the September 28.

The press conference was also attended by international partners of NEC, including UNMIL, IFES, UNDP, among others.

Excerpts of the Chairman’s statement from last press conference, September 20, 2017

A total of 100,000 mock ballots for each election and 1,210 tactile ballots for training purposes are already in Liberia and being used for training purposes. The 3,053,435 presidential and 3,112,725 legislative ballot papers are scheduled to start arriving in Liberia on 23/24 September 2017. There is a five and three percent contingency included in the respective amounts in line with international best practice. 30,000 tactile ballots will also be delivered for the visually impaired.

Election material has started to arrive in Liberia. Pre-packed polling kits arrived in Liberia on the 17 September 2017 and a second batch on 19 September 2017. Polling booths arrived on 17 September 2017. Material will start to be despatched from Monrovia on 28 September 2017.

Sample ballots papers have so far been produced for five of the counties: Grand Cape Mount, Bomi, Gbarpolu, Grand Bassa and Montserrado. Political parties are encourage to collect details from the political affairs section of the National Elections Commission. Sample ballots for all other counties will be ready this week, most likely tomorrow.

Local distribution will of course be challenging. The infrastructure and weather are things beyond the National Election Commission’s control. However, we are well prepared and as soon as all material arrives in the country it will be processed in our warehouse and securely escorted throughout the country. The large bulk of material will be transported by road. Some very remote areas will require canoes. The commission has an operations plan and transport is ready and waiting to carry these materials.

To increase our logistics capacity the National Elections Commission requested UNMIL to provide support in the transport of election material to the harder to reach areas of the country. I am very pleased to announce this request was met with a positive response from the UNMIL leadership. As a result we will have the option of air support to ensure material reaches these locations. I would particularly like to thank for Special Representative of the Secretary General.

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