Uganda: EC Creates More Polling Stations Ahead of 2021 Elections

23 September 2019

Kampala — More polling stations have been created in different districts and constituencies.

The Electoral Commission (EC) is concluding the re-demarcation process of polling stations and voting areas across the country.

By last week, most districts were finishing the compilation of the number of polling stations that had been added to the existing ones before submitting the list to EC which will come up with the final figure this week.

According to the EC, the objective of reorganisation of polling stations is to ensure each parish/ward and electoral area at sub-county level has got at least one polling station in accordance with Section 33 of the Electoral Commission Act.

Mr Jotham Taremwa, the EC spokesperson, told Daily Monitor last week that the exercise which started on September 2, was on course as they implemented the election roadmap which was launched last year.

"We have finished everything and different returning officers are compiling the figures before they send them to us," Mr Taremwa said.

The already behind-schedule roadmap, according to EC still faces trouble of under-funding which they say has slowed the process.

While addressing the media last week during the International Democracy Day at Kololo Ground, EC chairman Justice Simon Byabakama said they had Shs140b out of the Shs400b they had budgeted for the whole exercise.

"The process of re-demarcating polling stations will go as planned but they do not have enough money. If we can receive this money in totality, we could move even faster, but we are on course," he said.

According to EC guidelines given to the re-demarcation team at the start of the month, polling stations with more than 1,200 voters in the city area and 900 voters elsewhere will be split.

RE-DEMARCATION EXERCISE IN VARIOUS DISTRICTS

A quick survey in some selected districts conducted by Daily Monitor last week revealed a number of new polling stations created in some districts during the process with the returning officers citing population growth.

Kabarole. The Kabarole District returning officer, Mr Daniel Nayebare, said the district had 297 polling stations but in the re-demarcation exercise, 20 more have been proposed.

Mr Nayebare said the re-demarcation was based on the distance from one polling station to another, polling stations with more than 900 voters, the geographical location of the polling station, among others.

Jinja. The returning officer, Mr Dan Ruhemba Kamusiime, said there were 399 polling stations as per 2016; however, more 75 were created. He also said 27 more polling stations have been recommended by residents and forwarded to the EC in Kampala for consideration.

Kamuli. The returning officer, Mr Gracious Araija, says the exercise is complete and the women councils in the 13 sub-counties and lower local councils have been demarcated.

Bugiri. The district has 348 polling stations, while 10 others have been re-demarcated, according to the assistant district registrar, Ms Elsie Ongaria.

Bukedea. Mr Raymond Kisarale, the district returning officer, said Bukedea District recently created more 10 sub-counties which after the recent polling demarcation exercise took their tally to 193 after the creation of 18 new polling stations.

Soroti. District registrar Charles Egimu said 16 polling stations were created.

Tororo. District registrar Gimei Eric said initially there were 467 polling stations in Tororo District. It is expected that there will be a slight increase in the number of polling stations.

Daily Monitor also contacted returning officers and EC registrars of Amuru, Gulu, Nwoya, Omoro, Kitgum and Pader who confirmed that they had finished the exercise with an increase in the number of polling stations.

In Agago and Lamwo districts the number of polling stations had not increased from the initial ones.

Reported by Derrick Wandera, Joseph Omollo, Scovia Atuhaire, Denis Edema, Sam Opio Caleb, Asuman Musobya, David Oduut & George Muron

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