By Ousman Saidykhan and Yusef Taylor
The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) told members of the press and Civil Society Organisations (CSO) that the issue of multiple registrations has been dealt with by considering the most recent voter’s card issued to applicants while deleting the duplicates.
“The Commission has decided to keep the latest card and delete all other cards like it did in 2016 (general voter registration)”, said the IEC’s Chief Executive Officer on Tuesday, September 14th 2021 at the Commission’s monthly consultative forum with CSOs and the press.
To clarify this process our editor contacted IEC CEO Mr Sambujang Njie who confirmed that, for example if an applicant was issued 4 voters cards, the first 3 voters cards will be deleted, leaving only the 4th voters card [most recent] as the only valid one.
It can be recalled that the IEC lost a legal case against CSOs on the Banjul Mayor’s issuance of attestation forms. The outcome of the legal case meant that the IEC unlawfully authorised the Banjul Mayor to issue attestation forms for the purposes of voters registration. However, voters cards issued via the Banjul Mayor’s attestation or the issuance of multiple voters cards was not challenged.
The IEC had announced in August 2021 that there were approximately 3,000 multiple registered voters cards. Bearing in mind that the IEC had announced that after six  weeks of voters registration a total of 987,484 voter’s cards had been issued. After the IEC reviewed the voters register they announced at the meeting that the provisional voters register now includes only 962,157 voters.
Having told people that some applicants had made multiple registrations, the Commission now says that some of those cards are not, in fact, multiple registrations.
“When we did the adjudication and verification, we realized that some of those are not even double registration, they are technical issues – during the training and during the testing in the morning, when our teams started registering, they normally test and those things keep appearing. Anything you put in the system it will keep it there”, CEO Njie told members of the press and CSOs.
At the end of the voter registration process, the IEC announced what they called the provisional list but said they later realized there were people who registered more than once. According to Sambujang Njie, “we wanted to give you information at that time, now that I have given you the final, this is the final with no double registration”.
Meanwhile, the IEC has also announced that there will be no Revising Court sitting because they have received no formal objection with regard to the registration process.
“For one to object, you have to go to IEC regional office and pick a form and fill it, then the IEC will notify the Revising Court to start sitting. But this did not happen, then there is no revising court- revising courts are not going to sit,” said Mr Njie.
Normally, after the registration, the IEC would give a specified period to people for the application of objections or appeals and then present their cases to the Revising Courts who are responsible for hearing such cases.
But since there has not been a single objection or appeal, CEO Njie said “the IEC has drawn the curtain on the voter registration [process] by taking the list to the revising magistrate for signature. As we speak, our regional offices are on their way to the magistrate for the signature of this provisional list to be affirmed and become the official register for the electoral process.”
The Independent Electoral Commission is an independent body vested with the responsibility of conducting elections as well as registration of voters in the country.