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Slow Voter Turn Out For Local Council Elections

Low voter turnout was also registered in City/ local council elections in several polling stations including this center-In-Nwoya

Slow voter turn-out have been registered in most polling stations across Acholi sub region as Ugandans vote for local council leaders today (Wednesday) including city mayors and district chairpersons and their councilors.

In Amuru district, voting in most polling stations could not start at 7am as polling officials delayed opening the polls due to the absence of the 10 voters designated to be around the polling stations before the opening procedures can be completed.

This was witnessed at St Veronica polling station, Kaladima, Labongo-ogali, Amuru Tek polling station and Otwee Town Council.

The same scenario was also witnessed at Alimo-kana-lela polling station, Kal-gwana, Pacilo-Juba road, and Connect Africa polling station. There was also late delivery of voting materials in some polling stations.

Vincent Sunday Onekalit, a presiding officer at Otwee Town Council polling station blamed the slow voter turnout on voter apathy.

In Omoro district, polling materials were distributed at night in a bid to catch up with polling time but still there was slow voter turn-out. Omoro District Registrar Denise Obong told Mega Fm in an interview that they started the distribution of the polling materials at 2:30am.

Polling Center in Omoro

However slow voter turn-out was witnessed at Abole Primary school polling station, Lakwatomer trading center, Adak Primary school and Lukwir Polling stations. At Te-lagoba polling station in Opit town council, some voters were seen chatting away near the polling station while others were smoking and drinking waragi nearby. When asked, they claim they had first wanted to charge their heads before voting.

At Corner Lakwaya polling station officials had to verify the voters manually since most had left their voter location slips and National Identifications back home.

In Gulu City, business was as usual as members of the Gulu Owino Market Vendors Association were seen loading and leaving for market days. Business at Gulu central business district including Gulu Main market were as usual.

At Laroo Primary School in Gulu City East Division, there were less than 30 voters at the polling station compared to the Parliamentary and Parliamentary elections. The situation was also the same at Gulu Public Primary School polling station and Holy Rosary Primary school polling station in East Division.

Polling stations in Gulu district also registered slow voter turnout. It include Paicho sub county polling station where voting started pass 10am. Similar scenario was also witnessed at Unyama primary school polling station.

Slow voter turnout and polling starting late were also registered in Nwoya district. Voting started pass 8am at Patira primary school, Anaka primary school and Nwoya district headquarter B polling stations since there were no voters to witness the opening of the ballot boxes.

Nwoya district registrar Eyu Christine told Mega FM that voting materials were all delivered in time and suspects the poor turn up could be attitude of the electorates toward subsequent elections after Presidential and parliamentary election.

Similar scenario was also witnessed elsewhere around the country including Kitgum district. In West village polling station in Central Division in Kitgum Municipality, no material had been delivered by 7:17 am. The presiding officer and his polling assistants were seen still organizing the polling station, setting seats, and sweeping the compound. There were also no voters and agents of any candidates. A similar situation was also at Horizon Primary School Polling station in Central Division.

Meanwhile, in Lira City, electoral commission staff were seated idle at various polling stations as they wait for voting materials and voters to arrive.

For instance, at Angwetangwet parish, in Lira City East, only two out of the five polling stations had received voting materials by 7 am. At Tedam polling station, voting materials arrived at 7:45 am but there were no voters to witness the ballot opening.

In Apac district one of the LCV candidates Odongo Asante survived assassination at around 7; 40am after unknown gunmen travelling in s saloon car with covered number plates shot at his vehicle deflating the rear tyrs.

In Jinja City, unlike during the presidential elections when the voters were at the polling stations by 6:00 am, there were no voters, candidates’ agents, security and polling officials.

In Luwero, polling had not started by 7 am in most polling stations that include Kavule Giants College, Luwero SS, Kasana Market and N-N and Luwero SDA.

Simeo Kinene the Presiding Officer for Kavule Giants College M-NAL Polling station said that they delivered materials in time but they failed to start the exercise after registering only three out of 10 recommended voters.

Agents argue that some voters have lost morale in today’s elections because results from last week’s presidential and parliamentary elections were not in their favour.

In Mukono District, the polling materials were delivered by 6:00 am in most of the polling stations, but there was a low turn up of voters to witness the opening of ballot boxes.

In Mbale, many polling stations by 8 am had not registered the required ten voters to witness ballot box opening.

The polling stations include Nkoma High, North Road Primary School, Lion Tark, Namatala Church of Uganda, and Amber Store all in Mbale Municipality.

In Fort Portal Tourism City and Ntoroko district, some of the polling stations Mega Fm reporters visited at 7:40 am, voting was yet to start.

At the Public Library in Fort Portal, and Karugutu primary school, and Karugutu Health Center IV in Ntoroko District, there were no voters except polling officials.

At Lower Bugongi ward, Northern Division, Kabale municipality, by 7:10 am, cows were seen grazing at the polling station.

In Arua City out of ten polling stations that Mega Fm reporter visited by 8:00 am, voting had started at two polling stations.

At Awindiri Primary School K-Z polling station, Diana Queen, the presiding officer said that voting materials were delivered in time and they were able to set up all the equipment early but voters were reluctant to show up.

At Arua Golf polling station, in addition to the poor voter turn up, the Biometric Voter Machines also failed to work causing further delays.

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