Liberia’s electoral commission admitted Tuesday to an error on the ballot papers for a constitutional referendum, in a section where voters have to decide on the retirement age of the chief justice.
Among four laws the referendum asks voters to decide on Tuesday, is whether to change the retirement age from 70 to 75 for the chief justice and all Supreme Court judges. However the ballot paper has the ‘yes’ option at 75, as well as the ‘no’ option.
“We have noticed a very serious error while casting our vote, it is about the age of the chief justice,” said 28-year old university student Bille Koffe. “Instead of two propositions, 70 and 75, we saw only 75 and 75. We find it difficult to choose so I simply put there, ‘error’, because when I asked the administrator, he answered me saying it was an error noticed a week ago but it was too late to make a change.”
National Electoral Commission spokesman Bobby Livingstone confirmed the mistake. “We noticed this error a week before the referendum (but) we could not delay the process because of that. So if you mark ‘yes’ it means you agree, if you mark ‘no’ it means you are against it.”
The rest of the ballot paper has ‘yes’ next to the new proposal, and ‘no’ next to the current form of the clause. For example, a proposal on whether to change the residency requirement for presidential candidates from 10 years to five asks the voter to mark ‘yes’ next to five, or ‘no’ next to 10.
Full Article: AFP: Liberian referendum ballot paper causes confusion.