The Gambians are casting their vote today for a new regime. Former President John Dramani Mahama is in the country as an international observer courtesy the Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa (EISA).
Mr Mahama was amused by the balloting system the Gambian electoral management body has been using since the 1960s. The balloting mechanism is far different from what Ghanaians have.
The Gambians have metalic cylinders that are customized for each candidate. Voters are handed marbles to be dropped in the cylinder of their preferred candidate. This is akin to the old Greek methodology of voting, and has found prominence in Gambia.
The locale says despite the opaque cylinders which are considered in electoral terms as ballot box; it is more transparent and fair. This mechanism, obviously will be in dissonance with John Mahama's perception about elections in Ghana.
The contrast to what we have in Ghana, that had won the country some reputation in the subregion, is amusing. In Ghana one transparent plastic box is used for presidential elections.
Ballot papers are issued and voters are allowed to thumbprint their preferred candidate in a plain box adjacent to their image and party logo. The ballot paper is folded and deposited in the transparent box.
Ballots are sorted out per candidate and counted. But the Gambians' seems to be far easier. The marbles in each cylinder need no sorting, as they are exclusive to the candidate whose name or image is embossed on it.
As John Mahama takes his first monitoring visit at a polling station in the Banjul area. He is expected to present his observations and share with the international community on how the Gambians' faired in the election.
Six candidates are contesting the election today. President Adams Barrow faces a fierce contest to his re-election, and some political analysts had noted that the political veteran Ousainou Darboe is seen as the main opposition candidate.
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