By Femi Peters – The Independent Electoral Commission commenced a Two days training exercise for its staff and Senior Registration Officers at the IEC building in preparation for the general registration of Voters taking off on Thursday the 5th May to Friday 17th June, 2011 in lieu of the upcoming Elections scheduled for September 2011.
Addressing the trainees, the Vice Chairman, Mr. Malleh J. Sallah stated his involvement in the electoral process of the Gambia started right back from 1996, when he was once a trainee and such training processes had started a long time ago and such an opportunity to serve the IEC always starts from a point like this training which could be a spring board for the trainees. He further stated that the change in IEC has greatly been noticed as Gambian would be used to train the SRO’s as opposed to when British were involved in the training of SRO’s.
“The Voters Registration serves as the beginning of the Electoral process as I call the SRO’s to be Ambassadors of the IEC and should be ready to save guide our rights to Vote” he said. “A non Gambian should be legible to be registered and vote” he added.
He encouraged the SRO’s to be selfish about our constitutional rights to vote. The training is meant to give SRO’s a good background on issues like eligibility to vote and rights of every voter. SRO’s should focus on the training and as they leave to their various centers, they should be able to tell the criteria necessary for registration. The IEC is however delegating the responsibility to the SRO’s as they should act as professionals in the field, be humble and work as a team.
“We has Gambians at the end of the exercise should be proud that they were involved in a process that they were involved in a process that was totally designed and implemented by Gambians as we are also moving from manual registration of voters to computerized registration,” he concluded.
Registration center’s shall be open from 8am to 6pm, from Monday to Sunday including Public Holidays, however not all registration centre’s will open and close the same time. The movement of the registration Team would be announced, you can register at your place of birth or residence. It is paramount you register at centers that you plan to vote on Election Day because where you register is where you vote.