On January, 14th, 2021, while I sat lost in deep thoughts, I patiently and closely monitored the electoral process before the internet shutdown.
The process got me thinking about the long queues on these polling stations that elongate minute by minute.
The voting process goes as far as 8:00 pm in some areas.
Some voters abandon voting and return home to vote later in the day but do some give up? There so many questions you could add.
Two days later, on January 14th, 2021, D-DAY for the general elections, I gathered my strength, secured transport, and started to loiter from one polling station to another around Kampala.
Voters in Uganda get to the polling stations as early as 6:00 am, but it is a wasted day for many in regards to business and other duties since they leave as late as past 2:00 pm.
With continuous claims of dissatisfaction with the Electoral Commission’s results, this raises concerns for the 11th parliament to look at having another day of voting.
Uganda first held her first elections in 1962. With an alliance between Uganda People’s Congress and Kabaka Yekka KY, the Uganda national assembly won the majority of the parliamentary seats.
This formed Uganda’s first post-independence government, with Obote as Executive Prime Minister.
The population at the time, was 7,215,796 Ugandans with 1,553,233 registered voters.
One would think this is a good number to have one-day general elections. What happens with the increase in numbers?
Article 67 of the Constitution of Uganda does not deter the commission from adjusting the elections. This could authoritatively give a mandate to the commission to adjust and make it two days of voting the President and Members of Parliament.
With an increase in Uganda’s population, out of 46,520,396 Ugandans, 18,103,603 are registered voters. Surprisingly, as a country, we still follow the same standard of one day of voting.
It would be reasonable for a Ugandan like you and me to just look at things keep moving the same way as numbers get overwhelming.
Is it time for us to think of adding another day of voting and making it two days for presidential and members of parliament elections?
The recently concluded presidential and parliament elections have revealed how necessary and urgent the commission must pay attention to this contending issue.
Loyal Ugandans get to the polling stations at 6:00 am to cast their ballots, only to stand in the long queues for over 8 hours until they can’t hold it any longer but rather to give up.
We have, for the past general elections and the just concluded one witnessed the voting going beyond the stipulated time of 4:00 pm at different polling stations.
The Electoral Commission ignoring 1,223 polling stations and not considering those votes is quite a shame, right? Are we yet to see this becoming a trend?
Someone would arguably say that what about the safety of the cast ballots until day two of the voting? The onus is on the Electoral Commission, therefore, is to defend their oaths to serve with loyalty.