Liberia: Use of Nat’l ID Cards as Requirement to Obtain Biometric Voters ID Causing Stir among Citizens, Political Parties
Source: Front Page Africa (Monrovia)
By Lennart Dodoo
MONROVIA – There is a brewing fear among members of the public and political parties that many Liberians may be left disenfranchised should the National Elections Commission (NEC) heavily rely on the use of National ID Cards as proof of citizenship for Biometric Voter Registration.
The NEC early this month announced that Voter Registration would commence on March 20 and will run up to May 11.
According to the NEC, the potential voters will have to provide proof of Liberian citizenship. “The NEC also determines the acceptable types of IDs, among which are Birth Certificates, passports, and National ID cards,” the NEC stated in the announcement.
However, the concern among citizens and political parties is that not many citizens, especially in rural Liberia may have access to the National Cards.
According to the 2022 census, Liberia now has a population of about 5.3 million people with an estimated voting population of about 2.5 million, yet, only 605,000 have enrolled with the National Identity Registry. This means over two million potential voters may not have means of proving their citizenship when required during the Biometric Voter Registration.