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Double registration mars update of voters register in Nebbi

FILE PHOTO: National Voters’ Register

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT  | Double registration and low turn up of voters is hindering the on-going update of the national voters’ register in Nebbi district.

The Electoral Commission- EC gazetted November 21st to December 16th 2019 for the update of the national voters’ register ahead of the 2021 general elections.

The exercise involves registration of eligible first-time voters, transfer of interested voters to new locations and confirmation of registration status by registered voters.

Guidelines issued by the EC Chairman Justice Simon Byabakama Mugenyi bars double registration of voters.

However, polling officials have expressed concern over the low turn up of voters and numerous cases of double registration at polling stations across the district.

Rhoda Akumu Lynne, an enrollment officer at Jukia Primary School polling station in Nebbi municipality says she receives only two people on each day who appear for the update.

Akumu also says that she has turned away at least 23 voters seeking to register for the second time due to an already existing name of the same voter in the register.

“Besides the few people who come for the update, I have also turned away over 20 people who want to register for the second time. And most of them want to replace their lost national Identification cards. We cannot handle such cases of replacement of misplaced IDs so we dismiss them”, she said.

Jacob Odongo, the Nyaravur sub county supervisor says they are finding it difficult, as a number of voters have concealed information about their registration status. He says they have turned down requests for double or multiple registrations of at least 34 voters.

Wanok Noah, the Akworo sub county supervisor says there is a general low turn up of voters for the update, while several voters including citizens from the neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo have been turned away seeking for fresh registration.

“People are not showing much interest in this exercise. We hear claims of garden work and what people must know is that we are not registering people for new or lost National IDs. We are only updating an already existing voters’ register. We are only registering people who have not registered before”, he said.

Michael Arinaitwe, the returning officer Nebbi electoral district urges the electorate to make use of this period because there will be no further extension of the exercise.

Janey Watango blames the Electoral Commission for failing to conduct civic education in the area about the exercise.

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