Uganda elections: Opposition strongholds record large voter turnout

Uganda elections: Opposition strongholds record large voter turnout

- Biometric Voter Verification (BVV) machines were deployed to 34,684 polling stations across the country, but most of them were not being used today

- Unlike in previous elections, the Central region which is the opposition's stronghold received polling materials in time

- Voting materials did not arrive in time at popular stations in Kampala, a distance of 3kms from the electoral commission offices

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Even as Uganda embraced digital voting through biometric systems, the internet shutdown has cut out a large part of the world from keeping up with the on-goings in the country.

Uganda elections: large voter turnout at opposition strongholds as polling stations revert to manual voting

An electoral official demonstrates how the BVV kits are to be used. A total of 34,684 have been dispatched to polling stations. Photo credits: Electoral Commission of Uganda. Source: Facebook.
Source: Facebook

Briefly.co.za has also been established that although Biometric Voter Verification (BVV) machines were deployed to 34,684 polling stations across the country, most of them were not being used today.

According to a source who spoke anonymously, polling materials reached most destinations in time but failure by the BVV kits forced most polling clerks to revert to manual voting.

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"Unlike in previous elections, the central region which is the opposition's stronghold has received polling materials in time. I have crisscrossed eight sub-counties and things are still calm. Right now I am at Kira Municipality," he said.

Since the stations opened at 7am, voter turnout has been impressive but the cumbersome manual voting has seen hundreds go back home.

Perhaps, the biggest irony is that there are popular stations in Kampala, a distance of 3kms from the electoral commission offices, where voting materials did not arrive in time.

Uganda elections: large voter turnout at opposition strongholds as polling stations revert to manual voting

A voter casts her ballot into the box at a past election in Uganda. Voting will end at 4pm. Photo credits: The Independent. Source: UGC.
Source: UGC

In a statement by the electoral commission of Uganda, voting will stop at 4pm but those who will still be on queues will be allowed to cast their ballots.

It further underpins that voters are not allowed to put on party colours and uniforms, as well as gather in crowds after voting.

The recent shutdown of social media channels has essentially left the world in darkness as Robert Kyagulanyi tries to unseat the incumbent Yoweri Museveni from power after a 35-year term.

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Uganda elections: large voter turnout at opposition strongholds as polling stations revert to manual voting

Posters belonging to Museveni and Kyagulanyi have dotted most streets in Uganda since last year. Kyagulanyi hopes to take over from Museveni's 35-year term. Photo credits: Reuters. Source: UGC.
Source: UGC

Telecommunication companies having trouble getting subscribers to connect with friends and relatives, from making phone calls and sending text messages to transfer of money digitally.

Africell Uganda, which had defied the government's directive and remained operational, was switched off early this morning.

So far, the only sector that remains unaffected is transport as both vehicles and bodaboda services continue to operate undisturbed.

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Source: Briefly.co.za

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