On Tuesday, the President of Gambia Yahya Jammeh had sternly warned his rivals against contesting the outcome of Gambia’s presidential polls, branding the country’s electoral system as above-board in all ways.
President Yahya Jammeh had declared;
“Our election system is fraud-proof, rig-proof, you cannot rig our elections,”
“There is no reason that anybody should demonstrate. [Demonstrations] are the loopholes that are used to destabilize African governments.”
One would wonder the basis of President Yahya Jammeh’s assurance of a fraud-proof, rig-proof electoral system. Especially in this period where the President-elect of the United States is alleging fraud in an election that he won.
It turns out that the Gambia’s election system is different from a lot of electoral systems operating around the world. Gambia showcased this homegrown electoral system, which deals with the problem of fraud and illiteracy, on Monday. It is a really unique system that involves Gambians voting with marbles.
The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) at a press conference in the capital, Banjul, showed off three metal drums representing the three presidential candidates contesting in today’s polls.
As the citizens prepare to vote, they will be expected to enter a private area that is curtained off where they drop a marble into one of the three drums that are painted with the party colors and emblems, and a bell will ring, confirming that a vote has been cast.
Electoral officials in Gambia insist that the system deals with any cases of spoilt ballots and allows Gambians who are illiterate to take part in electing their new leader easily. It also ensures that only one vote is cast per person and suspicion is removed by sprinkling sawdust or sand on the bottom of the barrel so that no second sound is heard.
As the people go to the polls today, they will be using this unique electoral system to either allow President Yahya Jammeh return for a fifth term or choose either of the opposition candidates that include Adama Barrow, representing a coalition of opposition parties, and Mama Kandeh the Gambian Democratic Congress (GDC) candidate.