Kitgum Voters Excited About Electronic Voter Verification Kit

1838 Views Kitgum, Uganda

In short
21-year-old Choudry Ochan, a first time voter in Bajere Village in Pager division, says he is now convinced that multiple voting or impersonation is a thing of the past with, the introduction of the electronic voter verification kit.

The introduction of the electronic voter verification kit in Uganda's electoral process has drawn varied responses from politicians and voters in Kitgum district. While voters are optimistic about the electronic voter verification kit, some politicians are worried that they may create unnecessary frustrations at the crucial hour of voting.
 
 
Some of the politicians also argue that time is fast running out for polling officials to be oriented on the new machine.  21-year-old Choudry Ochan, a first time voter in Bajere Village in Pager division, says he is now convinced that multiple voting or impersonation is a thing of the past with, the introduction of the electronic voter verification kit.
 
 
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Ochan Acaa Lamola, the Labongo Amida LC V Councilor says he had to personally attend the demonstration to understand how the kit will eliminate vote rigging. He says his only worry now is technical breakdown of the machine.
 
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48-year-old Paula Aleng, the Forum for Democratic Change party candidate for the Kitgum municipality councilor seat, says she was particularly happy to know that the machine does not permit voter impersonation.  She advises voters to closely observe the process from start to the end in order to ensure a free and fair process.
 
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Angeyo Filder Atuku, another FDC party politician says her hopes for a free and fair election have been revived with the introduction of the electronic voter verification kit.  Atuku says she is confident the election the opposition will win the polls if the machine is used throughout the process.
 
 
Beatrice Atim Anywar, Kitgum Woman Member of Parliament says the shadow of doubts being cast by donors over suppliers of the voter verification machine alone should worry all concerned citizens.
 
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However, Joan Aduru, the Electoral Commission Kitgum District Registrar says while polling officials are yet to be trained on how to operate the machines; they are equipped with long life batteries.
 
 
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Aduru says because the machine is being used for the first time in Uganda's electoral process, polling officials are under instruction to operate them in conjunction with the national voters' register.
 
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Electoral Commission is yet to train polling officials in Kitgum on the operation of the electronic voter verification machine. On Monday, the Electoral Commission conducted countrywide demonstrations for voters on how to use the electronic voter verification machine.

Voters will be required to present their voter location strips or national identity card on polling day for the verification of their particulars before they are allowed to vote.
 

 

About the author

Peter Labeja
Peter Labeja has been a practicing journalist for the last 13 years during which he has covered part of the brutal conflict which bedeviled Northern Uganda as well as the painful transition to Peace thereafter. Emerging post conflict issues such as land rights of under privileged widows and orphans, challenges of access to social services in the immediate aftermath of Lord’s Resistance Army conflict in Northern Uganda.

Labeja is now the Northern Uganda Bureau chief in Acholi Sub Region since 2014 - Gulu, Amuru, Nwoya and Omoro districts as well as South Sudan falls within his areas of jurisdiction. He previously worked with The Vision Group for four years.

Labeja’s major career interests are in Climate Change; Agriculture and Environment - natural resources such as Water, Oil and Gas; Transitional Justice; Human Rights, Democracy and Governance as well as South Sudan’s humanitarian crisis. In 2013, Labeja was awarded a prestigious Pan African Journalism Award for excellence in journalism at United Nation’s UNEP headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya for Climate Change and Health Reporting.