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COMMENT: Low turn up key feature of today’s Local Govt polls

The writer interviews a voter today.

COMMENT | Crispin Kaheru | Polls closed at 4:00PM in most polling stations. There were no queues at most polling stations by the time of closure. Throughout the day, most polling stations visited did not have voters in queues. Whereas voter turnout for the 2016 Local Government elections was about 37%, it is feared that today’s could be lower.

There were incidents of mis-delivery of polling materials in some of the electoral areas – especially in Kampala. Although the Electoral Commission ultimately delivered the right polling materials in the affected areas, some voters had already left and did not return.

Standard Operating Procedures for the prevention of the spread of Covid-19 were better adhered to during today’s elections compared to the polls held last week. Many polling stations had hand washing facilities and hand sanitisers. Due to the low number of voters, there was social distancing at most polling stations. It was also noted that polling officials, agents and observers wore their masks at most of the polling stations visited.

The polls were generally peaceful though less participatory. The stakeholders met, attributed the generally low voter participation to limited voter mobilisation efforts and voter fatigue – especially after Presidential and Parliamentary polls last week.

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Crispin Kaheru is a Ugandan Socio-Political Commentator, and independent elections expert

Twitter: @ckaheru

 

 

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