Unlike last week’s Presidential and Parliamentary elections which were characterized with long queues, Wednesday’s elections to choose district leaders experienced lower voter turnout across the country.
By 7AM -the official time for opening polling, reports indicated poor turnout in several areas which spells a turnout lower than what has been anticipated. This trend persisted up to mid-day when this report was published.
In Wakiso District, Nansana GGganda, polling delayed for an hour and a half as Electoral Commission officials failed to get the required 10 voters to witness opening of polling materials.
The district has 1,154,875 registered voters and 1,434 polling stations. A quick sample across several areas of Kampala District also showed that polling stations were sparsely populated while in some areas EC officials were seen stranded without business.
The same scenario was evident at Katabi Gombolola, Nkumba Primary School, Abaita Kawafu, Abaita Ku Muzikiti, Kitala Primary School and Kasenyi Landing Site, in Katabi Town Council, Entebbe Municipality.
The same problem was registered a Kisenyi O-Z polling Station in Northern Division, Mbale City, which delayed polling.
Unlike last week’s presidential and parliamentary polls, few security operatives are patrolling the area.
In Jinja City, polling materials were still being dispatched from the city registrars office by 7:30AM. However, by 8:30, polling in the district started despite low voter turnout.
At Bugembe, Katende Ward in Jinja City, low voter turnout was evident and voters also decried inadequate voter sensitization as many could not adequately identify the candidates on the ballot.
Some polling agents as well as candidates attributed the low turnout to the fact that unlike Thursday last week, government did not declare Wednesday a public holiday.
Crispin Kaheru, an election expert says the low voter turnout as witnessed in local government elections is not surprising considering that presidential and parliamentary elections take the steam out of general elections.
Low voter turnout has been registered in Buikwe, Arua, Mbale, Kabarole, Tororo among other districts.