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14th December 2018

Run-Off Starts Today as Ballot Papers Delivered Without Incident Nationwide!

By Abu Shaw in London (31/03/18)

Unlike March 7 when ballot papers clandestinely lost and misplaced, all ballot papers for today's elections have arrived peacefully nationwide.


As millions of eligible Sierra Leoneans thronged polling stations around the country to cast their priceless votes today to elect the next president of Sierra Leone, competent reports have noted the safety and orderly arrival of sixteen trucks load of ballot papers in the 16 districts thanks to the re-enforced security personnel. (Photo: At Lungi Airport when the March 31 ballot papers landed).

It is confirmed that around 12,035 security personnel have been deployed nationwide to man today's elections. And 2,181 staff from the Chiefdom Police and Correctional Service Officers and Fire Force and from the Road Safety Department are also part of the Health and Safety deployment.

Political observers have hinted that the unobstructed delivery of the ballot papers and the security re-enforcement have made a good start for the much anticipated run-off elections between the ruling APC candidate Dr. Samura Kamara and the SLPP candidate Julius Maada Bio, who narrowly won the March 7 polls.

Kudos to the police and military officers who reportedly escorted the ballot papers from Lungi International Airport. Police say security at today's elections will be at Level Two, meaning quick response to any intimidation. Unlike the March 7 polls which handicapped police to act quickly and decisively following the electoral malpractices and chaos that followed the announcement of the results by the under fire National Electoral Commission NEC chairman N'fa Mohamed Alie Conteh.

Police told the press in Freetown that they now have the mandate to enter polling stations to maintain law and order, a far cry from the March 7 elections when police and military officers were not fully allowed to enter polling stations to keep the peace.

This was confirmed by the police spokesman, Superintendent Ibrahim Samura who disclosed that during elections day, a joint Para Military Police personnel will escort vehicles with Tamper Evidence Envelopes TEE to polling centres and back etc.

Local and international election observers will complete the process of making sure free and fair and credible and peaceful election is conducted to the satisfaction of all stakeholders. It remains to be seen if today's run-off will be different from the March 7 polls.

Important Gists for all Polling Agents and Voters as Voting Commences


a) Ensure that NEC provides the supplementary lists of all security personnel deployed to every polling station. This is to avoid the cancellation of votes cast by them which may amount to over-voting. Get details of every security personnel going to vote at any polling station.


a) Party Agents should inspect all ballot papers before voting starts to ensure there are no laminated ballot papers.

b) Party Agents should ensure that they have a copy of NEC's voter register for each station. They should not accept any other register.

c) They should ensure the names and photos on the voter's card match with the bearer and the details on the register.


a) All ink should be tested at every station before voting commences. This is to prevent dubious operatives from mixing oil with the ink that will render the votes null and void when they get soiled with oil.

b) Party Agents should be extremely vigilant to ensure all voters are inked. There are reports of NEC officers' failure to ink certain people. This lays the foundation for multiple voting.


a) Before counting starts, party agents should ensure the top of the ballot boxes are completely sealed.

b) Counting should be done immediately voting is officially closed. They should avoid counting at night especially in dark counting centres.

c) After counting, Party Agents should ensure the boxes are sealed and the seal numbers properly recorded.

d) They should take down the serial numbers of the remaining ballot papers.

e) Party Agents should ensure the RRFs station specific codes are properly recorded.

f) Party Agents should not sign any blank RRF. RRFs should be completely filled before they append their signatures.

All well meaning Sierra Leoneans should ensure to come out in their numbers to protect their votes.

Stay within the designated distance from polling stations to ensure you monitor activities around the polling stations. The peoples' power supercedes any intimidation.

Courtesy: Salone Reflection Forum


1958 -1980


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