#Article (Archive)

Making voters know why they should vote

Apr 1, 2011, 1:45 PM

Later this year, specifically November 24, Gambians will go to the pools to elect a president. In 2012 and 2013, there will be National Assembly and Local Government elections.

Going by the new election cycle, as unveiled by the Independent Electoral Commission, is high time we start educating our people on the need for every citizen to vote in an election.

In this regard, we must commend the IEC and partners for developing a very comprehensive voter education guideline.

Going through the document thoroughly, one would be convinced that it is a guideline that is well detailed and insightful.

The expectation is the IEC, the National Council for Civil Education, CSOs, political parties and the media would begin disseminating the content of this document to Gambians.

Since election is not child's play, it is good for each and every Gambian, in particular those above 18 years old, to be sensitised on the need to vote in an election.

Since ours is a first-past-the-post system, that is, there is no second round voting, the value of a single vote should be made known to all, and this requires voter education by the stakeholders.

We are of the conviction that the people need to be well-informed about their civil and political rights, as this would enable them make informed decisions.

We would like to urge people to register and have a voter's card, because it is only the voters card that would enable them to vote and be voted for during elections, so acquiring the voter's card is fundamental to every citizen's life.

We are aware of the fact that elections are expensive, but in spite of all the constraints the IEC should also look for more support from our international partners to give more support towards this endeavour.

We have to understand that voter education is key, in the success of any meaningful election.