Explainer: Who is Eligible and How to Vote in Gambia Elections?

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IEC Training of Trainers (Photo Credit: IEC)
IEC Training of Trainers
IEC Conducts a Training of Trainers (Photo Credit: IEC)

A total of 962,157 people are been confirmed by the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) as eligible voters in the December 4, 2021 presidential elections.

These people will elect one of six candidates to steer the affairs for the nation for the next five years.

Eligible  

The IEC has put together a list of conditions voters must meet to be able to vote in the upcoming election and subsequent elections:

  1. Be in possession of a Gambian voter’s card
  2. Present oneself at the right polling station
  3. Must have one’s name on the Register
  4. Must not be serving prison term
  5. Must not be of unsound mind
  6. Must not be in a state of inebriation

Officials Facilitating Voting

A team of four officials deployed by the IEC would man each polling station. These officials, presented here in hierarchical order are the Presiding Officer, Assistant Presiding Officer, Polling Officer and Assistant Polling Officer.

When Does Voting Begin and End?

Polling stations open at 8:00 am and close at 5:00pm. However, if there are voters in the queue at 5:00pm, they will be allowed to cast their ballot.

How to Vote?

The procedure for voting is based on the provisions of the Elections Act. The voting process occurs in this order:

  1. Voter enters polling station
  2. Voter shows his/her voting card to the polling assistant
  3. Polling assistant directs voter to the right queue
  4. Voter reports to the Assistant Presiding Officer (APO), who checks the voter’s card against the Register of Voters
  5. APO checks that the voting card is genuine and the identity of the voter correlates that in card
  6. Once satisfied, the APO draws a line through the serial number on the Alphabetical register of voters
    (N.B. If the voter is under any query as to his/her identity, the voter is referred to the Presiding Officer)
  7. Voter then reports to the Polling Officer
  8. The Polling Officer dips the voter’s left forefinger into indelible ink to ensure that they have been identified as eligible to vote
  9. Voter proceeds to the Presiding Officer, who checks the voter’s finger and then hands him/her a marble/token
  10. Voter enters the voting compartment and drops the marble/token in his/her chosen ballot drum
  11. The Presiding Officer listens to the sound of the token/marble hitting the drum
  12. The voter then leaves the voting compartment
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