Organisation : Independent Electoral Commission
Facility : How to Vote
Country : Gambia
Website : http://iec.gm/index.php/voting/
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IEC GM How to Vote
Before voting, the following conditions need to be met:
** be in possession of a Gambian voter’s card
Related : IEC Gambia Voter Registration : www.electionin.org/3012.html
** present oneself at the right polling station
** must have one’s name on the Register
** must not be serving prison term
** must not be of unsound mind
** must not be in a state of inebriation.
A team of four persons in hierarchical order man each polling station: Presiding Officer, Assistant Presiding Officer, Polling Officer and Assistant Polling Officer.
Polls 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.
The procedure for voting is based on the provisions as of the Elections Act.
The voting process occurs in this order :
** Voter enters polling station
** Voter shows his/her voting card to the polling assistant.
** Polling assistant directs voter to the right queue.
** Voter reports to the Assistant Presiding Officer (APO), who checks the voter’s card against the Register of Voters.
** APO checks that the voting card is genuine and the identity of the voter correlates that in card..
** 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)
** Voter then reports to the Polling Officer
** The Polling Officer dips the voter’s left forefinger into indelible ink to ensure that they have been identified as eligible to vote.
** Voter proceeds to the Presiding Officer, who checks the voter’s finger and then hands him/her a marble/token.
** Voter enters the voting compartment and drops the marble/token in his/her chosen ballot drum.
** The Presiding Officer listens to the sound of the token/marble hitting the drum.
** The voter then leaves the voting compartment.
Where to Vote?
** A voter is expected to vote where he/she is registered.
** This is usually the closest polling station to where he/she lives or resides. Yet still, he/she may choose to register where he/she was born.
** The polling station code and constituency of each voter is clearly written on the voter’s card. With this, the voter can easily identify where he/she is eligible to vote.
The final stage of the election process on polling day is the counting of votes and the dissemination of results for the various candidates who contest the elections.
Counting On-The-Spot :
People to be allowed in the polling/counting centre include :
** IEC Officials
** Regional Authorities, such as Governors, National Assembly Members, Councilors, Mayors/Chairpersons, Seyfolu and Alkalolu (should not come with a big delegation)
** Two polling/counting agents per Candidate
** Accredited domestic and international observers
** Partners and guests of the IEC
** Accredited media practitioners(one per media house)
** Security personnel (on duty at the polling/counting centre)
** Candidates if they so wish
No other person should be allowed in the polling station/counting centre unless duly authorized by the IEC.
Counting begins with:
** Presiding officer reads out the Ballot Token Account and polling time.
** Polling/Counting agents cross-check seals numbers with their notes before seals are broken by the Presiding officer.
** The Presiding Officer breaks the seals, pours the tokens onto the sieve and filters them.
** Presiding Officer arranges the tokens on the counting tray
Presiding Officer shows the filled counting tray to:
** Polling/counting agents and/or
** Domestic / International Observers present.
** Showing of the counting tray should be done one after the other.
** Presiding Officer records votes polled by each candidate on the Counting Form.
** Presiding Officer returns counted tokens in their respective ballot drums
** Presiding Officer reseals the ballot drums supported by binding wires
** Polling/Counting agents may escort the Assistant Returning Officer and Presiding Officer to the collation centre at their own cost.
** The Collation Centre will then collate polling station results
** The Collation centre shall add up all the polling station results in the constituency before handing it over to the Regional Electoral Officer.
** Proper care must always be maintained when results are being tabulated to ensure that all figures are correct.
** Polling/counting agents shall sign the close of poll report.
** A copy of the counting form shall be given to each candidate’s agent.
** A copy shall also be pasted at the polling station/counting centre and a copy taken to the collation centre