The Electoral Commission has achieved what it called an important step in delivering a ‘free and fair’ election by dispatching voting ballots and the polling day register to district headquarters, a week before elections are do to be held.
EC Chairman Justice Simon Mugenyi Byabakama made the announcement while flagging off trucks to transport the voting materials from EC’s warehouses in Banda along Jinja road enroute to all district headquarters where they will be kept ahead of the elections that start on January 11, 2021.
Justice Byabakama said the ballots and registers that were dispatched are for the elections of Special interest group elections at sub county, municipality levels as well as for the president, directly elected MPs and district women MPs.
The early dispatch of the electoral materials had raised eye brows and fear that the materials might be tampered with, but Byabakama sought to reassure Ugandans that they have put in place measures to safeguard the ballots.
He cited the fact that the district police commanders and EC district returning officers will be in charge of the consignment.
He added that all batches are secured with seals whose numbers have been recorded and shared with all political parties.
The EC chairman reiterated that the Commission has also secured new Biometric machines that will be used to identify the voters at every polling station.
He noted however that election officials are yet to undergo training along with representatives of agents for the various candidates to ensure they are used properly.
The Jan 14, 2021 polls for president and members of parliament have been marked with unprecedented violence and disruptions linked with the COVID-19 Social Distancing Orders.