The Electoral Commission has extended the voter registration and verification exercise for 2020/2021 general elections barely a day to the initial deadline.
The general update exercise started on November 21, 2019 and was scheduled to close December 11, 2019.
However, the Electoral Commission chairperson, Justice Simon Byabakama told journalists in Kampala on Tuesday that they had decided to extend the deadline to December 16 due to higher numbers of applicants at the update centres since the beginning of this week, and requests from key stakeholders in the electoral process.
According to Justice Byabakama, there will be no further extension.
"This exercise will continue to be conducted at update stations in each parish throughout Uganda, starting from 8:00am to 6:00pm, throughout the extended period, including weekends. Please note that the purpose of this extension is to provide an opportunity for eligible persons who have not yet registered to do so," he said.
The EC chairperson also noted that there are allegations of extortion of money by some local leaders and update officials from applicants in order to sign on their applications before processing the applications.
"This is illegal, and the Commission strongly condemns it. The Commission has provided all necessary forms (for application as a voter, or application for transfer) free of charge. The Commission calls on all officials involved in this update exercise to desist from any acts that may frustrate eligible applicants from exercising their constitutional right to apply for registration as voters," he said.
Key issues to note
a) This is not a fresh registration of voters but an exercise to enable Ugandan citizens who have attained the age of 18 years and above and who have not yet registered to register as voters in order to participate in elections.
b) A registered voter who wishes to transfer to new voting locations shall be able to do so during this period. A voter who wishes to transfer to a new voting location must present confirmation that he/she originates from or is, at the time of application for transfer, a resident of the Parish of that (new) voting location. Such applicants should ensure they have details of their previous voting location.
c) The Electoral Commission has availed the National Voters' Register for each polling station at the Update center in each parish, so that existing voters check and confirm their registration status, that is, whether their particulars are well-captured.