The campaign period has come to end. The voters should have listened to all candidates, compare their messages and make a choice before going to cast their vote. Saturday should just be a symbolic day for them. Today should be the day of reflection and decision making.
The type of councils the country would have is to be determined today and tomorrow, each should register the decision made today unless you are a voter who depends on emotions rather than reason. You may be a voter who is waiting to be bribed tonight by selling your voter’s card either to be hindered from voting or to vote based on inducement. In that case you may still be undecided. Such is the voter who is yet to be a sovereign citizen.
The sovereign citizen will not receive a bag of rice today costing D1000 only to go and pay D10 a day, D300 a month or D3600 a year as duty payer in the market for selling vegetables in the market. The apolitical and the myopic voter in the market constitute the greatest threat to Gambian democracy.
Foroyaa has done and will continue to do its duty to combat these two ills of democracy. However, no matter how determined the informed voter is to select the right representative, without safeguarding the voting procedure from corrupt electoral practices there can be no undiluted choice of the people.
This is why candidates should have well trained polling agents to safeguard the voting process from any immoral presiding officer. One of the key responsibilities of the polling agents is to be there on time when the boxes are open for inspection. They must also be present throughout to prevent any intruder from getting into the polling booth. They must witness the sealing of the ballot boxes. They must inspect the holes of the ballot boxes to ensure that the ballot tokens or marbles could be inserted without difficulty. They must ensure that the polling booth is secure and cannot be invaded by any intruder without being seen. They must register the number of ball tokens given to the presiding officer before the commencement of voting.
At the end of the exercise they must ensure that the serial numbers are the same as at the start of the voting process. They must witness the breaking of the seal and they must not be too lazy to count the marbles on the rack rather than just assume the number given to them.
At the end of the voting they must ensure that the remaining ballot tokens are counted and subtracted from the original number of ballot tokens supplied to them. They must read what is written on the report sheet to validate the content before signature, they must retain a copy of the report sheet as a counting agent for onward transmission to the collation agent to protect their result. They must also ensure that they are posted outside the polling station. Election monitors are only relevant if they can assist the candidates to protect the vote by monitoring their counting on the spot and the posting of the results.
They should encourage candidates to identify their troubled spots and cover those polling stations as a matter of priority, spread themselves and are able to take note of what is happening in all the polling stations.