Explainer: What is the Number of Invalid Votes Recorded in Gambia’s 2021 Presidential Election?

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Ballot drums in which voters will cast glass marbles readied for today's general election (Photo Credit: Omar Wally)
Ballot drums in which voters will cast glass marbles readied for today's general election (Photo Credit: Omar Wally)

By Kaddy Jawo

Two hundred and twenty-two (222) invalid votes were recorded in the just-ended Gambian presidential election that secured a second term for President Adama Barrow.

According to the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), ​​a  total of 859,567 voters participated in the highly contested 2021 election that involved the using of marbles to cast one’s vote by dropping it into iron-made drums (which serve as ballot boxes).

“Votes that are not put inside the ballot drum by a voter, such votes are considered invalid and cannot be counted,” the spokesman for the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), Pa Makan Khan, said in an interview.

According to him, the highest number of invalid votes(69) came from Brikama Constituency in the West Coast Region (WCR) in the Brikama administrative area.

General Information 

Gambia’s 2021 presidential election is the first post-Jammeh election, and according to the Independent Electoral Commission, the total number of registered voters was 962,157, who were expected to vote across 1,554 polling stations spread across 53 constituencies.

The IEC chairman declared Gambian President Adama Barrow the winner on December 5 with 53.2% which is 457,519 of the total votes cast, while his closest contender Ousainou Darboe obtained 27.7% which is 238,253, with Mama Kandeh securing 12.32% which is 105,902 of the votes.

The voter turnout was 89.34%. A total of 102,590 voters did not participate in this election, according to IEC.

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