By Yusef Taylor, @FlexDan_YT
The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) released its “General Voter List Constituency Total 2021” highlighting that 25,327 voters have been removed from the provisional 2021 General Voter List. After six (6) weeks of voter registration which ended on 11th July 2021, the IEC issued a press release highlighting that 987,484 Voters Cards had been issued.
After the conclusion of the voter’s registration, the IEC Chairperson, Alieu Momarr Njai was quoted on the media indicating that over 3,000 duplicated voters’ cards were on the voter’s list by early August 2021.
At first many thought that the multiple registers were by people who intentionally registered at multiple constituencies to rig the vote. However, the Commission’s Chief Elections Officer, Mr Sambujang Njie informed the media and Civil Society Advocates that some of the multiple registrations were actually mistakes made by their own staff during a meeting on Tuesday 14th September 2021.
After comparing information provided by the IEC at the meeting and the provisional voter’s list issued after the 6th week it can be seen that Kanifing has had over 7,800 voters removed from the voter’s list. The second-highest number of voters removed is Basse where over 7,600 voters were removed from the voter’s register. On the lower end of the scale is Kerewan where almost 700 voters were removed from the register this is second only to Banjul where less than 100 have been removed from the voter’s list.
Many were of the belief that after the courts had ruled in favour of Civil Society Advocates against the Commission and the Mayor of Banjul on the unlawful authorisation of the latter to issue Attestation Forms, a significant number of voters could be removed from Banjul. However, the IEC informed the media and CSOs that the revising courts would not seat as no challenge has been received through the appeals process.
Significant Youth and Women Vote
From the data provided by the IEC, it can be seen that first-time voters (18-25) constitute the largest single age group category with 30.6% of all voters on the list. As the age bracket increases, the number of voters continues to reduce. Second-largest is 26-35 (27.1%) followed by age brackets above 35 which have a combined total of 42.3% of all registered voters.
This means that the total number of youths registered in the 2021 Voters List is 57.7% of all registered voters. Coincidentally the total number of registered female voters is 56.7%, only 1% less than the number of registered Youth Voters (18-35). This highlights the significance of the Youth and Female vote in the upcoming December 4th 2021 Presidential Elections.
The only administrative area where more voters aged 35 and over registered than youth voters is Banjul which registered only 10,395 youth compared to 10,977 voters aged over 35. In every other administrative area, youth outnumber voters aged over 35 in their thousands. Perhaps this is an indication that Banjul has an ageing population compared to the rest of the country.
The Commission released this statement on 8th September 2021 informing the public of the December 4th 2021 Presidential Elections.
IEC Statement on Presidential Elections 2021
The Independent Electoral Commission, in exercise of its mandate under section 46 of the Constitution of The Gambia and Section 40 of the Elections Act, wishes to inform the general public that election to the office of President of the Republic of The Gambia will be conducted on Saturday 4th December 2021.
The public is hereby informed that the IEC, acting under Section 47 of the Constitution and 42(1) of the Elections Act will receive nomination of candidates for the said election of President of the Republic of The Gambia from 30th October 2021 to 5th November 2021 between the hours of 8 o’clock in the fore noon and 4 o’clock in the afternoon at the IEC Headquarters, Bertil Harding Highway.
In exercise of its powers given in Section 85 of the Elections Act, the IEC wishes to announce that the campaign period for the said election will be held from Tuesday, 9th November 2021 to Thursday, 2nd December 2021. The public is hereby also notified under Section 5(2) of the Elections Act that the appointed Returning Officer for the election of the Office of the President of the Republic of The Gambia is Alieu Momarr Njai. Chairman of the IEC.
Nomination papers can be collected from the IEC Headquarters from 30″ September 2021.