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Sierra Leone News: First time voters learn voting protocols

Electoral education is an essential electoral process and part of all elections preparedness especially for first time voters who are often swept away by the eagerness and excitement of being part of the process.
The education of first time voters is also crucial because the exuberance of first time voters could be easily manipulated by political supporters or politicians. Heal Sierra Leone on Tuesday 6 February 2018 in collaboration with NEC, educated senior high school pupils of various secondary schools and colleges on the several voting processes and general electoral education for the upcoming election.
At the St Joseph’s Secondary School, Joseph Sannoh, Executive Director, Heal Sierra Leone noted that the engagement with first time voters it is important for an informed political decisions and to prevent first time voter to by decisive by politicians.
Sannoh further added that the sensitization on electoral processes is to teach the target audience what are to do and what not to do as proscribed in the Electoral Act.
Rashid Gbondo, pupil, St. Edwards Secondary School, said, “As school going pupils we need to understand what are our responsibilities and duties.” He explained that we need to be the change we want to see adding that “as youth it is my responsibility not to be an economic, regional or tribal voter, rather a policy-based voter. … I should vote on policy that gives premium to better education, better employment that would make Sierra Leone a better nation.”
Victoria Momoh, Saint Joseph Secondary School noted that “As first time vote, please make sure you do not engage in any violence activity because our future is ahead of us and the younger one are also looking up to us.”
Momoh further explained the significance of the electoral education stating that the electing of representatives in government for the next term would also have the ability to decide on socio-economic opportunities on education, on health, on job opportunities.
Sheku Koroma, head of education and training, NEC spoke the several electoral processes.
Koroma talked on the delimitation of electoral boundaries, registration of voters, exhibition and verification, distribution of voter’s identification cards and the steps of casting votes.
At 7:00 a.m. on 7 March 2018, voters queue in a line where their ID are verified. Voters are given ballot papers and mark their ballot in secret and cast their votes. Voters are required to mark only one mark beside only one candidate for each of the four elections. Voters should not sign the ballots or mark them in any other way.
By Sylvia Villa
Wednesday February 07, 2018.

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