Uganda News

Youth coalition outlines recommendations for improving electoral process

The Independent Electoral Commission has been urged by the Youth election observation mission for the 2021 general elections to correct specific issues in order for the country to have better future events.

The Independent Electoral Commission has been urged by the Youth election observation mission for the 2021 general elections to correct specific issues in order for the country to have better future events.

Human rights violations by security agencies, delays in delivery of voting materials, little consideration for special interest groups such as people with disabilities, improper printing of voting materials, increases in media space costs due to COVID-19 pandemic standard operating procedures, internet shutdown, and other irregularities were cited by the coalition in a recent statement.

As a consequence, the organization wants the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) to guarantee that electoral officials get sufficient training on election procedures, including auditing of materials given and polling station setup. This would provide privacy while also allowing those with impairments simple access.

Improve voter education across the country so that voters understand how to use the ballot paper, how to fold it, and that they are able to return a ballot paper if they make a mistake while voting.

The organization also wants the legislation changed to enable for the creation of an online system that allows eligible voters to amend their voting information using an easy-to-use mechanism at any moment before the register is finalized. It also wants the electoral commission to make sure that the packaging of supplies for each polling station is done more efficiently in the future and that they are labeled appropriately to avoid delivering the wrong materials to polling stations, which creates delays in the voting process.

Another suggestion is to make certain that ballot papers are produced with the correct symbols affixed to the correct candidate.

The organization also wants the IEC to re-evaluate the accreditation procedure for local and foreign observers, including the media, which was plagued by delays last time around.

It also wants the IEC to use church activities and community bulletin boards to publicize polling station reorganization, establishment, renaming, splitting, and rationalization.

The security apparatus, according to the young coalition, must be professional and unbiased while doing their responsibilities. It further states that they must collaborate with all election stakeholders to address electoral events by enacting necessary legislative remedies.

The coalition wants the legislature to explore legislation amendments that would allow citizens such as election administration employees, medical professionals, security officers, and the media to vote early.

The young organization also seeks early funding for election-related events, because an election is a process that requires proper planning and preparation.

Bukwo, Mukono, Wakiso, Bukedea, and Iganga were among the five districts where the group obtained information.

The findings were disclosed within the legal deadline of six months following the election, according to Martin Wanzala, executive director of African Youth Development Link. For this exercise, the Youth Coalition dispatched 150 election monitors.

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