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Uganda: Polling Stations Resort to Manual Register As Biometric Systems Fail in Uganda

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Voting in Uganda’s presidential and parliamentary elections on Thursday faced hitches as the biometric voter identification system failed, largely blamed on internet shutdown.

Electoral Commission spokesperson Paul Bukenya said they have “had issues with the biometric machines”, as a result of network failure, and the electoral body has directed presiding officers to “put the machines aside.”

Officials at various polling stations told The EastAfrican they resorted to the manual voter register, a process that is bound to slow voting.

“At first the machine was slow but later it failed totally. So we have stopped using it,” said Medard Opita, the presiding officer at Jjuuko Kikko Ground in Kibuye 1 Parish, Makindye Division in Kampala City.

More than 18 million registered voters in Uganda, 40.8 percent are of whom are aged below the 30, are expected to vote in these polls to elect the next president and parliament.

Long queues were witnessed at polling stations early morning and grew even longer as the biometric system failed.

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