Voters in Kitgum municipality are rushing to register
and verify their particulars in the ongoing voter’s register update exercise.
This comes a day after Electoral Commission extended
the deadline for the National Voter’s Register update exercise to December 16th
due to high numbers of applicants at various centers across the country.
Since November 21 when the general update exercise begun, only a few voters in Kitgum
had taken interest in the exercise.
Betty Aciro, a Voter’s Register Update officer
at Te acut Polling Station in Town Ward, central division, says they just
started receiving voters four days ago unlike when the exercise commenced.
She says many of those flocking the polling station are students who just
turned 18 years while others want transfers and verification.
By 9am on Thursday morning, Acan said she had already
attended to more than 30 people majority of whom were registering for the first
time as voters.
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Aciro says the extension has helped many people in
the municipality who had not got the chance to verify, register and request for
transfer to other polling stations.
Alex oryem, a resident of Apollo grounds parish
who rushed to cause the transfer of her daughter’s polling station, says the
extension is a blessing since majority of locals didn’t get enough time to
participate in the update exercise.
He says there is however need to further extend the update
period by two months to carter for particularly students and the working class.
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Christine Ajok, a resident of West land parish,
says she had not known about the extension but lauded it as a good initiative
by Electoral Commission that will help them who nearly missed the exercise.
“If the process for transfer of my voting location fails
today, I am sure that the five days extended will help me to finish it up
without having to miss the opportunity if it had ended yesterday [Wednesday]”
Benjamin Ewal, the Electoral Commission Registrar for Kitgum
district says the current rush by residents is because of their laxity towards
the ongoing exercise despite the heavy mobilization carried out.
since Wednesday, his teams have been over whelmed with the turn up of people, saying
they had to distribute more forms at various polling stations.
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Ewal urged residents to take the opportunity saying there
will be no more extension.
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Statistics from the Electoral Commission Kitgum office, a
total of 1,242 people registered as voters ahead of the 2020/2021 general
election in Kitgum by last week.
The current update exercise is being
conducted at update stations in parishes across the Uganda.