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Low Voter Turn-up, Late Arrival of Voting Materials in Acholi

At Holy Rosary Primary School - Polling Station A, several voters were stranded up to 10 am when voting hadn’t started. It’s where DP Presidential Candidate Norbert Mao voted from. Mao was the first to cast his vote at 10:15 am.
14 Jan 2021 17:36
There has been late arrival of voter materials in most polling stations in Gulu City Divisions. At Laroo P.7 School polling station in Gulu East Division up to 8:30 am voting had not begun because voting materials were not yet delivered. Some disgruntled voters were seen leaving.

At Holy Rosary Primary School - Polling Station A, several voters were stranded up to 10 am when voting hadn’t started. It’s where DP Presidential Candidate Norbert Mao voted from. Mao was the first to cast his vote at 10:15 am.

He condemned the delays and noted that the 2021 general elections are a big test to the ruling NRM government in dispensing and upholding democracy in the country.

At Acholi Inn at A Polling Station situated in Gulu City East Division, voting commenced slightly after 8:00 am. Hundreds of voters turned up including Betty Aol Ocan, the Leader of Opposition and Gulu City MP candidate under FDC ticket. She castigated the government for switching off the internet to cover up their evil plans.

URN reporter also visited Railway Polling Station in Gulu City East Division where several voters turned but facing unprecedented delays in queues because of delays by EC polling officials who were teased by the biometric machines.

Lyandro Komakech, the incumbent MP for Gulu Municipality called for the resignation of the Electoral Commission Chairperson Justice Simon Byabakama. He called for vote of no confidence against him for late delivery of polling materials yet the electoral body had four years in advance to organize for elections. He also proposed the enactment of digital rights law in the country to restrain government against tampering with the internet.

Benson Obette, the Retuning says they will extend the voting time from 4:00 pm to 05:00 pm in areas were election materials arrived late.

In Omoro, the Election materials were dispatched for delivery from 3:00 am according to Denis Ebong, the District Registrar. This was to help the EC deliver materials in far off polling stations in time.

Peter Okot, the Tochi County MP (DP) disclosed that they aren’t sure of the transparency process in the delivery process since there were no representatives of the candidates. Some volunteers accompanied the election materials to Abuga, Palenga Town Council and Bobi Sub-County headquarters among others.

There was heavy deployment of the police backed by the military at several polling stations. In Amuru District, voting commenced past the designated time in most polling stations. At Keyo P.7 School A & B polling stations, voting started at by 8:30 am due to late delivery of polling materials.

The Low voter turn-up was noticed across different polling stations for instance at Olwal Trading Centre in Lamogi Sub-County, St. Veronica Primary School there were very few voters. By 9:00 am less than 10 voters had turned up to allow voting to commence. The few voters who had turned up were also undergoing orientation by the EC officials at the different polling stations.

In Nwoya District, voting materials arrived in time at Anaka Town Council but elsewhere like in Lapem Polling Station, Kochgoma P.7 Polling Station by 8:30 voting had not commenced because the materials had not yet been delivered.

Some irregularities were noted in Villa Nova Polling Station with new voters. It is located at Kochgoma Town Council. 60 new voters who are unknown to the residents were discovered to be voters in the area. There are also voters who could not trace for their voting stations and were left stranded.

In Oyam District, at 10 polling stations that include Minakulu Market; Adel P.7, Abang P.7, Abworocero Polling Station, Aleny P.7, St. Peters Catholic Church and St. Paul Catholic Church in Western Ward, Kamdini Town Council voting commenced after 8:00 am.

Only NUP, NRM candidates had their agents present.