Electoral workers use a counting board to tally marbles from one polling station, during Gambia’s presidential elections in Serrekunda, Gambia, Saturday, Dec. 4, 2021. Gambians vote in a historic election, one that for the first time will not have former dictator Yahya Jammeh appearing on the ballot. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)
UPDATED 11:18 AM PT – Sunday, December 5, 2021
Polls have closed and marbles are being counted across The Gambia following the conclusion of the African nation’s second free election.
The counting on Sunday follows voting on Saturday, where citizens were given a marble to drop into a drum with the face of their preferred candidate attached to it. The drum’s are emptied and the marbles inside are then counted, giving a fast, secure and legitimate result in a country where nearly half the population cannot read or write.
Incumbent President Adam Barrow said he believes he’ll win reelection by a landslide.
“We will never lose this election,” said Barrow. “It will be the biggest landslide victory in the history of this country. I enjoy unprecedented support in this country.”
In 2016, The Gambia engaged in its first ever free election, also using the marble count system. The incumbent dictator running for a legitimate term, refused to accept his loss to Barrow at the time and tried to hold a new election before being forced into exile in Equatorial Guinea.
Full results for this election are expected to be known by the end of the day on Sunday.