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Saturday, April 17, 2021

Time too limited for paper ballot – IEC

By Omar Bah

The Independent Electoral Commission has shelved its plans to use ballot paper in the 2021 presidential election.

The commission chief electoral officer, Samboujang Njie, said the Election House will maintain the traditional marble system.

“We have rescinded our plan to introduce the paper ballot in the December presidential election because we feel there would not be enough time to embark on a vigorous voter sensitization and the laws are also not ready,” he said.

Voting in Gambia is unlike anywhere else. Instead of casting a paper ballot, Gambians cast a marble. IEC’s plans to do away with the traditional practice have sparked a heated debate in the country.

Critics of the system have since said the country is not ready for those changes, citing primarily illiteracy levels. 

IEC Chairman, Alieu Momarr Njai lamented that the electoral system has simply become too complicated for the marbles to handle because of the large number of ballot boxes it would entail.

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