Carter Center Releases Statement on Liberia’s Voter Registration Process

Contact: In Atlanta, Soyia Ellison,
In Freetown, Barbara Smith, +231 (0) 88 110 2515

MONROVIA — Despite some early operational hiccups that have mostly been resolved, Liberia’s ongoing voter registration process is progressing smoothly, according to a Carter Center statement released today.

A Carter Center delegation observed the voter registration process from Feb. 20 - March 1, visiting 40 voter registration centers in 21 electoral districts across eight of Liberia’s 15 counties: Bomi, Bong, Grand Bassa, Grand Cape Mount, Lofa, Margibi, Montserrado, and Nimba.

The delegation, led by Jordan Ryan, vice president of the Carter Center’s peace programs, met with electoral authorities at the national, county, and district level, as well as with journalists, government leaders, representatives of the Liberian National Police, and members of political parties, civil society organizations, marginalized groups, and the international community.

Because there are still several days to go before voter registration ends, it isn’t yet possible to accurately assess registration turnout.

“I call on all eligible Liberians to take part in the voter registration period and exercise their fundamental democratic rights,” said Ryan, “and to sustain the peace throughout Liberia.”

The delegation commended the National Election Commission for quickly fixing early operational problems — many related to camera malfunctions — and for its commitment to a peaceful and successful process.

In the spirit of support and cooperation, it also offered the following recommendations:

  • All eligible Liberians who have not yet registered should exercise their right to participate in the voter registration process.
  • Because the upcoming exhibition and challenges period will be a critical to establishing the credibility of the voter registration process, the NEC should increase voter awareness about this period, and political parties and civil society actors should make a strong effort to promote participation in it.
  • To advance the NEC’s goal of making it easier for people with disabilities to participate in the electoral process, it should consider a pilot project to introduce tactile ballots, with a special emphasis on training staff and raising awareness among blind voters to ensure that these ballots can be used as intended and that the secrecy of the vote can be protected.
  • In order to further increase confidence in the electoral process, the NEC, political parties, and civil society organizations should increase efforts to conduct voter education and related information and awareness campaigns. This should include development of voter information toolkits for educators, and improved coordination among partner organizations and community-based organizations.
  • The NEC should continue to strengthen its communication strategies in order to enhance the trust, confidence, and transparency of the process. This could include extending IPCC meetings to the county level. Efforts to improve communication between the magistrates and NEC headquarters would also be positive for the process.
  • The NEC should consider steps to evaluate registration procedures to capture lessons learned in a timely manner and to foster continuous improvement of Liberia’s electoral process.
  • The NEC should consider offering additional support and training for its hearing officers, magistrates, and the hearing committee at the county and national level to enhance their ability to respond to any election-related complaints. In addition, training for political party agents and candidates in advance of the candidate nomination period on electoral dispute resolution and how to file a complaint would be welcome.

Read the full statement >


"Waging Peace. Fighting Disease. Building Hope."
A not-for-profit, nongovernmental organization, The Carter Center has helped to improve life for people in over 80 countries by resolving conflicts; advancing democracy, human rights, and economic opportunity; preventing diseases; and improving mental health care. The Carter Center was founded in 1982 by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and former First Lady Rosalynn Carter, in partnership with Emory University, to advance peace and health worldwide.

Donate Now

Sign Up For Email

Please sign up below for important news about the work of The Carter Center and special event invitations.

Please leave this field empty
Now, we invite you to Get Involved
Back To Top