Tuesday, 16 February 2016

ToroDev M&E Officer attends a one day Regional stakeholder’s workshop on polling activities for 2016 general elections

The workshop was organized by the electoral commission Kabarole district, it was held on 9th/ February 2016 at St Joseph inn Virika. It was attended by Regional Police Commanders, District from the 7 districts, Police commanders from 7 districts, political party representatives; district officials District Resident officer, the CAO, civil society organizations, press, electoral commission staff and local citizens. The main objective of workshop was to take the participants through the polling activities for 2016 general elections (how the elections will take place, what role will police, civil society organizations play, the role of press and how to have a peaceful general election etc).  
On general elections will be held in Uganda on 18 February 2016 which is a national holiday for voting. The elections are to be supervised by the Electoral commission of Uganda. In the election the voters will vote for the President, Parliament seats and local government seats”. Said Mr Kanzira the head of electoral commission Kabarole District

Mr. Kanzira talking to participants during the workshop
Mr. Kanzira added Chapter 142 of the Presidential Elections Act of 2000 of Uganda stipulates the following qualifications for a person to be elected as President:
a) A citizen of Uganda by birth
b) Not less than thirty-five years and not more than seventy-five years of age
c) A person qualified to be a Member of Parliament. Their qualifications include:
I) Is a registered voter
II) Has completed a minimum formal education of Advanced Level standard or its equivalent

Voter Location Slips.
In accordance with Section 33 (1) and (2) of the Electoral Commission Act (Cap 140), the Commission shall, by notice in the Gazette, appoint a Returning Officer for each electoral district who shall take steps to inform voters as early as possible of the particular polling stations at which they are required to vote and also that the circumstances should be such as to guarantee orderly voting without confusion.
In view of the above, the Commission has introduced a Voter Location Slip (VLS) to inform and guide voters to their respective Polling Stations. The Commission will, therefore, issue directly to each voter a Voter Location Slip (VLS).
The VLS will, among others, be used as a first step for identification of voters on Polling Day. It will be used at four rounds of elections during the General Elections (2016) namely; at the Presidential/Parliamentary, District Chairpersons’, Sub-county Chairpersons’ and Municipal Division Chairpersons’ and Councilors elections.

Who will be issued a voter location slip (vls)?
A person whose particulars appear on the Polling Day register will be issued a VLS. The voters’ register is the primary document for the purpose of polling. A voter whose name is on the register but is unable to produce a VLS on Polling Day will be allowed to vote”. Kugonza Enock electoral commission Kabarole District
Enock added procedure for issuing voter location slips (VLSS) include. The Parish Supervisors (also known as VLS Issuing Officers) shall be briefed by, and receive instructions from, their respective District Returning Officers on the VLS issuance programme. Issuance of VLSs shall be done at the Parish level for a period of fourteen [14] days; commencing Monday 1st February 2016 and ending Sunday 14th February 2016”.

No person shall be allowed to collect or receive a VLS on behalf of another voter. At the end of each day, all unissued VLSs shall be properly secured in their packs for the next day’s issuance or retrieval. At the end of the entire exercise, all the VLSs which will not have been issued MUST be properly packed and delivered to the Sub-County supervisor for onward transmission to the returning officer. Said Hamidu of electoral commission, Kabarole District 

Biometric voter verification system
The biometric voter verification system, the aim of the system is to strengthen the identification of voters through biometrics so that no one votes more than once in particular election. We have trained on how to use the machine and we have trained other returning officers on how they will use the machine, we are glad that you have got the opportunity to see this technology during this workshop”. Said the technical officer Kabarole District

The Biometric voter verification system
The roles of the supervisors

The Returning Officer/District Registrar and the Sub-County Supervisor shall supervise the issuance of the VLSs in the entire district and in the Sub-county respectively.

The roles of political party or candidates’ agents and accredited
  1. A political party/candidate may appoint his/her agent(s) to observe the issuance of the VLSs in accordance with the law.
  2. Local, National and International observers that have been duly accredited by the Commission may observe the issuance of the VLSs exercise in accordance with the Observers Code of Conduct.
 Acts and offenses committed during the issuance of the VLSS
  1. Use of violence or threats against officials, supervisors or the electorate during issuance of the VLSs is an offence.
  2. Deliberate disruption or interference with the work of the issuance of the Voting Location Slips officials is an offence.
  3. Any person other than a designated official acting on behalf of the Returning Officer who directs or orders the VLS Issuing Officers in the execution of their duties commits an offense.
  4. Any VLS Issuance Officer who attempts to solicit money, gifts or favours from VLS recipients commits an offence.
  5. Any person who attempts to lure a VLS Issuance Officer with money or gifts in order to secure his/her or another person’s VLS commits an offence.
ToroDev is supporting the electoral commission by giving the officers platforms on radio to educate voters on how the elections will happen, the time, the requirements and promoting free and fair election. Torodev is broadcasting skits carrying civic education on the three sponsored radio talkshows to encourage people to vote, keep peace and know their rights and also encouraging women to be part of voting exercise.   

For all the skits carrying information on civic education  that are broadcasted on the three radio stations, we are grateful to our donors, NED, SIDA, SPIDER, WOUGNET, ICT4dem , Hits Fm, KRC, Jubilee FM

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