The Electoral Commission (EC) has extended for the second time the deadline for updating voters’ particulars in the National Voters’ Register to enable more Ugandans register as the Commission prepares for the 2020/2021 general elections.
The update of the National Voters’ Register commenced on November 21, 2019 and was scheduled to close on December 11, 2019 but due to public outcry it was extended to December 16, 2019 which is today.
However, before the end of the extended period (December 16, 2019), the EC Chairman Justice Simon Byabakama Mugenyi said EC once again received several requests from numerous stakeholders in the electoral process, “and recommendations from our own field staff for a further extension of the period for the General update of the National Voters Register.
“Towards the close of the update exercise the Commission observed big numbers of applicants at the update centers across the Country and also received requests for extension from various stakeholders in the electoral process,” he said in a press statement.
The Commission, he said, sat Monday morning and reviewed the reasons advanced by various stakeholders for a further extension, which include; unfavorable weather conditions in many parts of the country and high turn up of applicants at update stations, which forced the Commission to extend the deadline for one week to December 23, 2019.
“The Commission has decided to further extend the update period from tomorrow Tuesday 17th December 2019 for seven (7) more days, ending on Monday 23rd December 2019, after which, there will be no further extension,” Byabakama said.
This exercise will continue to be conducted at update stations in each parish throughout Uganda, starting from 8:00am to 6:00pm, throughout the extended period, including weekends, he said.
The purpose of the extension is to provide an opportunity for eligible persons who have not yet registered to do so. It is an exercise to enable Ugandan citizens who have attained the age of 18 years and above and who have not yet registered to register as voters in order to participate in elections.
Further, a registered voter who wishes to transfer to new voting locations will be able to do so during this period. However, a voter who wishes to transfer to a new voting location must present confirmation that he/she originates from or is, at the time of application for transfer, a resident of the Parish of that (new) voting location. Such applicants should ensure they have details of their previous voting location.
EC has availed the National Voters’ Register for each polling station at the Update center in each parish, so that existing voters check and confirm their registration status, that is, whether their particulars are well-captured.
According to Strategic Plan and Roadmap to the 2021 general elections, The general update of the National Voters’ Register should be done between November 2019 and January 2020 in line with Sections 19(7) and 19(8)(a) of ECA. Over 10 million voters are expected to take part in the electoral process.