High turn up in Hoima by-elections as confusion on National IDs takes centre stage

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There is a substantially high turn up of voters in the Hoima Woman MP by-elections currently underway.

The polling day was declared a public holiday in Hoima specifically to allow residents participate in the electoral process.

The voting that started at 7:00am was without any major glitches except an intial low turn up and most the 256 polling stations.

At Boma polling station for instance, voting did not commence until after 7:30 because there was no quorum to start. The electoral laws require that for voting to commence, there should be at least five voters present at a particular polling station.

Meanwhile at Hoima Municipal Council Polling station, K – Z, polling had not commenced even by 9:00am. According to reports on the ground, three ballot books were allegedly missing as per the sequencing, this led to voters getting rowdy.

Citizen Coalition for Electoral Democracy (CCEDU), country coordinator Crispus Kaheru who is in Hoima with CCEDU observers claimed that when EC was contacted, they said the issue of missing ballot books was due to challenges in the numbering.

“The election has picked up, there are relatively longer quues that we had earlier in the day, women constitute a big number of people in queues.”

National ID’s cause trouble

At several polling stations, voters without a location slip or a National ID are being turned away. According to Kaheru, there is serious confusion on whether the IDs should be a requirement or not.

Voters are being told they the need to have either a National ID or a Voter Location Slip in order to be allowed to vote,” he said.

“There are also counter allegations of voter bribery by candidate agents, but we cannot verify that,” he added.

NRM’s Harriet Mugenyi Businge is in the race with opposition coalition candidate Nyakato Asinansi.

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