Voters registation cards : Recipe for massive rigging by the Bio government


A press release by the All People’s Congress signed by its National Secretary General, Lansana Dumbuya Esq dated 11th May 2023 stated that the party notes with utter dismay the substandard and mediocre Voter Identification Cards that Electoral Commission Sierra Leone (ECSL) have issued out to the electorate of this country for the 24th June, 2023 General Elections.

The rest of the press release stated thus: “The Party is cognizant of the fact that, the ECSL is inter alia charged with the responsibility of conducting National Elections. In light of conducting these elections, the Commission is also tasked with other responsibilities viz. registration of voters, verification of voters’ eligibility, producing Voter Identification cards, and the preparation of ballot papers and other voting materials for the voter-ship of this country for every General Elections as per the Constitution. The aforementioned responsibilities are anticipated to be executed in accordance with the law and with due diligence and integrity. It is expected that such duties are to be carried out in consultation with the political parties. This does not only promote transparency but also serve as a booster to the confidence of political parties and the electorate.


Disappointingly, the procurement process of these Voter Identification cards was unilaterally and clandestinely done by the Commission and; political parties were never involved. This shady procurement process explains in part, the reason for the production of the worst Voter Identification cards this country has ever had. Almost all of the cards produced are in black and white contrary to the coloured photos that were displayed during the Voter Registration Exhibition. A good number of the cards issued out, have smudged photos making it difficult if not impossible to identify the owners. Some of the cards have incorrect gender and / or addresses. This is a deliberate move by ECSL to refuse qualified voters whose facial photos are unidentifiable from voting on polling day.

In addition to that, the APC Party’s Information Technology (IT) specialists have inspected the cards and have noticed that, the feature on the Voter Identification card purported to be a security feature is just bogus and not a security feature. So, the Voter Registration Cards have no security feature at all. Why is the ECSL deceiving the public with the purported security feature? We have also noticed that these cards are predisposed to be counterfeited any day or at any time. Based on the findings of our IT specialists, any local internet cafeteria can reproduce those cards or even better quality.

The conduct of Voter Verification Registration as observed has created a lop-sided playing field to disenfranchise a certain section of the electorate. It is evident that the data for thousands of citizens who had registered in this election cycle were incomplete, incorrect or missing from the register in many of these instances, citizens were not allowed to do the necessary corrections or create a fresh registration. Instead, citizens were inappropriately referred to the National Civil Registration Authority (NCRA) whose mandate does not include voter registration.

The omission of some names from the Provisional List of Voters, photo-less registration details, incomplete data, and the lack of transparency, openness, inclusiveness, of ECSL in its operations clearly suggested that the integrity of both the voter registration processes had been skewed and has thus compromised the entire electoral process.
The way and manner in which ECSI removed so-called fraudulent entries in the register, including duplicates, was never publicized to allow the public and political parties in particular to scrutinize the lists and make official objections to entries they consider either fraudulent or duplicates. Providing electoral stakeholders’ access to scrutinize the voter lists would satisfy the electorate and political parties that the identity documents provided by the ECSL are legitimate.

Furthermore, we are of the firmest of convictions that these Voter Identification cards will not make for credible elections. In that regard, and with a view to espousing credible elections, we will not tolerate the use of these Voter Identification cards for the forthcoming and any other elections. The cards need to be regularized, system sanitized, and political parties be allowed to audit the system in order to know how many cards were produced, the securitized measures taken, and the names and appropriate addresses of the owners of the cards produced be published.

Finally, The APC strongly warn that the situation be ameliorated or redressed because the Party will never allow such unprotected cards to be used as the identity for eligibility in the forthcoming or any other elections in which the APC is a participant. So, in doing the amelioration, the APC entreat you to involve every political party throughout the process. The Commission is expected to be expeditious in redressing these concerns. The ECSL’s unresponsiveness to stakeholders’ concerns and the failure to address them has substantially undermined public trust in the entire electoral process.
The All Peoples Congress, having highlights the many concerns to be addressed in the next few days, wants to put the ECSL on notice that if the ECSL fail to address these issues within the time stated, the party will exercise its constitutional right to call for a nationwide peaceful protest to demonstrate its dissatisfaction.”


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