He said they opted to reorganize the Polling Stations to enable voters to conveniently cast their votes.
According to section 12 (1)(d) and section 33 of the Electoral Commission Act as well as section 30 (1) of the Presidential Election Act 2005, the Electoral Commission is mandated to establish and operate polling stations within in each Parish or Ward of every Electoral District.
“The reorganization is to among other reasons, ensure that each parish/ward and electoral area at Sub County level has got at least one polling station and that each polling station has suitable numbers, conveniently located and appropriately named,” said Byabakama.
He further revealed that the reorganization will involve procedures such as splitting of polling stations, merging of polling stations, relocation of a polling station, re-naming a polling station, creation of new polling stations and updating villages on the register.
The campaign kicked off on September 2 and it is running until September 14 with an estimated budget of Shs9-10 billion set aside for the reorganisation.
Objectives of reoganisation of polling stations:
-To ensure that each Parish/Ward and Electoral Area at Sub County level has got at least one Polling Station in accordance with Sec. 33 of the Electoral Commission Act (Cap 140). The Returning Officer must ensure that each Electoral Area at Sub County level is demarcated and approved by the Commission, each Electoral Area must have at least one Polling Station.
– To ensure that where possible, Polling Stations that have far less than the optimum number of voters are merged, taking into consideration proximity of the Villages, geographical features (highlands, water bodies, Swamps) and distances traveled by voters to the Polling Stations.
-To split Polling Stations with significantly more than the optimum number of voters (higher than 900 voters) into two or more Polling Stations, excluding Kampala and Wakiso (may have an optimum number of 1200).
-To merge Polling Stations previously split on the basis of alphabets such as Namataba A-M and Namataba N-Z and thereafter splitting the merged Polling Station on the basis of Villages provided there are reasonable numbers of voters to form the new Polling Stations. Suitable venues should be identified in those Villages for the respective Polling Stations.
-To re-locate in consultation with residents Polling Stations that are;-Located in inappropriate/illegal or contestable areas e.g. near bars, located in congested Areas like market places,Clustered in polling centers without adequate space for polling activities, Inconvenient for the population to cast their votes is; resulting in voters traveling long distances to vote,Where developments have taken place since the last Reorganisation e.g. buildings, roads, Industries, factories and places that are no longer public e.t.c. , These Polling Stations will be shifted to any other appropriate and convenient location within the Parish.
-To re-name Polling Stations to reflect their physical locations. This is of particular importance where Villages have been split and now have new names.
-Harmonisation of Parish and Village names with the corresponding Polling Stations.
-To ensure that all the newly-created Villages appear on the Voters Register by populating them with the respective voters.