Gambians go   to the polls  tomorrow

Dec 3, 2021, 12:49 PM

Nine hundred eighty-two thousand, one hundred and fifty-seven (982,157) voters will go to the polls tomorrow in 1,554 polling stations in 53 constituencies to elect someone for the nation’s top job.

Candidates Adama Barrow of NPP, Ousainu Darboe of UDP, Halifa Sallah of PDOIS, Mama Kandeh of GDC, Abdoulie Jammeh of NUP and Essa Faal, Independent Candidate will seek the electorates’ mandate to occupy State House.

Polling starts 8:00 am and ends at 5:00 PM

There will be on the spot counting. The Gambia has a population of 1.9 million inhabitants.

The Electoral System

The Gambia’s electoral system is based on a simple majority or first past the post system. Voting is by secret ballot using the marble and drum system which is unique to The Gambia. Instead of the ballot paper form which is used worldwide, voters in The Gambia are given marble to vote after presenting their valid biometric voter’s card.

Each presidential candidate has a separate sealed drum box identified by his or her photograph with party color and symbol.

After receiving marble, voters go in secret, drop their marble through a tube in a drum of their candidate of choice; marble strikes a bell inside the drum as it falls. The sound of the bell can be heard clearly even outside the booth. This arrangement prevents multiple voting as commonly seen in some elections in Africa. This system, which is said to be tamper-proof, was invented after many experiments by two colonial officials, Smith and Weston.

On polling day, each candidate is allowed to have agents in each polling station. With the new amendment to the election law, vote counting would now be done on the spot.