The Gambia may change from the marble to ballot papers in the coming local government election, according to the chairman of the Independent Electoral Commission in an interview with a popular online Gambian news site, The Torch.
Njai further said the political change in Gambia has triggered mass participation in politics, which makes it quite inconvenient to continue with the marbles.
“We cannot afford to continue with this ballot system. With the change of system in governance, Gambians are now participating in politics in numbers and that means in every election, we will have to make lots of drums and paint them with different colours. This is huge logistical nightmare,” he said.
“That is why we are working towards a paper ballot system. These drums are not just expensive to make but you have to paint them with party colours and where you have independent candidates, you have to give each a colour,” Njai told The Torch.
He continued to say when you have thousands of ballot drums, transporting them to different locations will be very difficult.
“We are working on ensuring that this is done before the local government election because marble is practical and easy when you have few political participants…”
Due to high level of illiteracy The Gambia introduced a unique voting system in the early 1960’s to address that but Njai said the country is now prepared for ballot papers.
“There are countries using the ballot papers that have lower literacy level than us,” he argued.