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Sunday, March 7, 2021

Mai Fatty takes issues with marble ballots

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“In the 21st century, the people of The Gambia vote with stones during elections instead of ballot papers as done in other countries,” he told a press conference in Ghana on Thursday. 

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“The sad aspect of the whole issue is that we don’t even know the number of the stones which are used during elections in the country and even where they are stored.”

The country’s use of marbles often comes under criticism, but the Independent Electoral Commission defends the system as economical and user-friendly for illiterate voters. 

“Our system of voting is very unique in the sense that we don’t use the ballot paper and the ballot box, instead we use the ballot drum and the marble,” the director of electoral operations had explained on the eve of the previous presidential elections in 2011. “This kind of voting is somehow economical … you can use the ballot drum and ballot token over and over again, it is not possible to do ballot stuffing.”

However, Mai Fatty, whose first election experience as a political party leader was in 2011, when he coalesced with the UDP, said the use of marbles is outdated and prone to fraud. 

He said further that the electoral commission is biased towards President Jammeh, who appoints the executive of the IEC, but expressed the readiness of the opposition to dialogue with President Jammeh in order to improve democracy in the country. 

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