12/02/2016: Statement on Preparations for the General Elections 2016

  • Progress of the Campaigns Meetings/Rallies

Campaign meetings/rallies organized by candidates contesting for Presidential, Parliamentary and Local Government Councils Elections have been going on in various electoral areas across the country. Campaigns have largely been peaceful.

The Commission appreciates the general public, candidates, their agents and supporters, for responding positively to our call to embrace tolerance and reject violence during the campaigns and beyond. Please keep this spirit of tolerance throughout the electoral period and beyond, for the good of our country.

However, as the Election day draws closer, most of the Presidential Candidates are currently campaigning within and around Kampala Districts. The Commission therefore calls on the Candidates, their agents and supporters to remain peaceful and tolerant of one another for these remaining days.

The Commission has however, noted that, some Candidates have been in the habit of not strictly adhering to the legal requirement of closing their campaigns at 6pm. The Commission therefore, would like to pass a final warning to any Candidate who violates this requirement to stand warned.

  • Recruitment and Training of Presiding Officers

The Electoral Commission concluded the recruitment and training of polling day officials on the polling procedure. Training of the Presiding Officers and one polling assistant, on the use of Biometric Voter verification system (BVVS) has commenced today Friday 12th February and will be concluded tomorrow Saturday 13th February 2016.

These polling officials will be deployed at the various polling stations throughout the Country for the various elective positions during the 2016 General Elections. The Commission would like to call upon election officers to conduct polling in accordance with the law and in a professional manner.

  • The National Voters Register (NVR)

As you might be aware, the Commission compiled, updated and displayed the National Voters Register (NVR). After the display, a total of twenty Thousand people were legally removed from the Register. After the clean up, the total number of Registered voters for the 2016 General Elections is Fifteen Million Two hundred Seventy seven thousand One hundred ninety eight voters only (15,277,198). The soft copy as well as the hard copy of the NVR was issued to the Presidential Candidates.

There have been media reports alleging an existence of twenty thousand voters (20,000) ghost voters on the register on account of a total figure of voters registered at 15,297,197 which had indicated on our Website. This is not true and the Commission would like to clarify as follows;

The figure of 15,297,197 was the total number of registered voters prior to the display/cleaning up of the National Voters Register (NVR). After the display of the National Voters Register (NVR) which took place from 22nd July to 11th august 2015 at every polling station which was followed by a period of natural justice, records of individuals who were identified for removal were compiled and after the clean up, the total number of registered voters came to 15,277,198.

Therefore, the total of 15,297,l98 voters as reflected on our website a few days ago but has since been corrected was inclusive of the number of recorded persons that had been identified for removal which was an error.

  • Accreditation of Election observers/briefing

In line with our policy of conducting elections in a credible and transparent manner, and in accordance with Section 16 (1a) of the Electoral Commission (Amendments) Act, Electoral Commission has so far accredited One thousand eight hundred (1800) local and International observers including the media to observe the polling processes. The accreditation center at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is still open to handle accreditation for those who have not yet presented themselves in person for accreditation

The Commission therefore informs and invites all the accredited election observers for the 2016 General Elections for a briefing session on Monday 15th February 2016 at Hotel Africana, Nile Hall starting at 8am. A secretariat for election observers will be based at the same Hotel starting from tomorrow Saturday 13th February to Thursday 18th 2016 from 8am to 5pm to provide any necessary assistance to the election observers

  • Use of Voter Location Slips (VLS) during the 2016 General elections

The Electoral Commission produced Voter Location Slips (VLS) as per the registered Voters on the National Voters Register (NVR). The VLS bears the particulars of a voter, namely: photograph, names, date of birth, and location (that is, the district, constituency, Sub County, parish and polling station). It bears a barcode which will be read by the Biometric Voter verification device.

The VLS is a response by the Commission to complaints raised in the past elections, where some voters reported difficulty in locating their polling stations.

Therefore, the program for the distribution of these slips the registered Voters is going on throughout the Country until 14th February 2016. They are being issued free of charge at every parish by the Parish supervisor who is an employee of the Electoral Commission

Please note that this Voter location slip (VLS) should only be picked by the actual voter in person from the parish supervisor. It is important that after picking this card, it is kept safely so that the barcode is not tampered with.

The Commission therefore, calls upon all registered voters during this period to contact their parish supervisors on the program for the distribution of Voter Location Slips (VLS) in their respective parishes.

The advantages associated with this VLS are; to enable the Voters conveniently locate their respective polling stations before polling day and also cut down the amount of time a voter spends at the polling station through verification by the BVVS to be cleared to proceed and cast his/her vote

  • Use of Biometric Voter Verification System (BVVS)

The Electoral Commission has also introduced the use of Biometric Voter Verification System (BVVS) in the upcoming Elections. The BVVS is one of the new measures aimed at improving the management and conduct of elections in Uganda through authentication of voter identity.  The system uses fingerprints to match voter details which will help the election officer to confirm that the voter is on the roll of that polling station.

The system will enable the Commission to ensure that only registered persons vote during the elections and that such persons (voters) do no vote more than once for the same election. The other advantage is, in the event that a voter is at a wrong polling station, the verification will help identify the right polling station of that voter

The Commission has developed the guidelines on the use of the BVVK on polling day by the kit operator. The Commission therefore, calls upon all the stakeholders in the electoral process to adhere to these guidelines so that we get the desired result, which is a fraud-free election.

  • Use of the National Identity Card in the 2016 General Elections

The Commission has noted that a number of stakeholders are still asking about what the role of the National Identity Card (ID) and VLS on the day of voting and what is it that a voter required on that day.

The Commission would like to clarify that, at the polling station and for purposes of convenience and to cut down on the time a voter will spend on verification, it is important for Voter to carry his/her VLS or ID on that day and present it to the BVVS operator at the polling station to be verified.

However, it is important to note that while a VLS or National ID are important on the day of polling, the two are not mandatory for one to cast his or her vote. As long as one is a registered voter on the NVR of that polling station, he or she will vote even without a VLS or National ID

  • Electronic Results Transmission and Dissemination System (ERTDS)

The Electoral Commission with funding from Government of Uganda procured the above equipment to transmit results of Presidential and Parliamentary Candidates after tallying from the Districts to the National Tally Centre at Mandela National Stadium-Nambole. Recruitment and training of the Officers who will be using the ERTDS was conducted and concluded

  • Packing of Generic Materials

In preparation for the 2016 General Elections, the Electoral Commission completed the packing of generic materials and commenced their dispatch to all the Districts.

For avoidance of doubt, the generic materials includes pens, strings, stamp pads, polythene sheet, rubber bands, ink pad, elections forms, report forms, oaths, official report book, aprons, tamper-proof evident envelopes, indelible mark pens, transparent ballot boxes, cordoning tapes, basins and solar lamps.

At a later stage, the Electoral Commission will include in each box, the National Voters’ Register and ballot papers for each respective polling station, before dispatch for polling day.

  • Delivery/storage of Ballot papers for the 2016 General Elections

Since 28th January 2016, the Electoral Commission has been receiving consignments of ballot papers for Presidential, Parliamentary, District Chairpersons, District Directly Elected Councillors, District/Sub county Women Councillors. As you might recall, the Commission invited the media and representatives of Presidential Candidates to receive them at the Airport. The ballot papers are safely stored in our stores in Banda under tight security. The Commission informed Candidates to forward names of their agents (2) to accredit them to go to our stores and remain there if they so wished.

The ballot papers for Sub county Chairpersons, Sub County directly elected Councillors, Municipality Chairpersons/Councillors and Councillors representing special interest groups will be arriving any time and the Commission will be informing you and inviting you to cover their arrival.

  • Setting up of Tally centres by Candidates

The Commission has noted media reports quoting some Candidates and stakeholders in the electoral process of plans to set up their own tally centres. As long as they are not going to use these centres to announce results of elections or declare winners. It is the mandate of the Electoral Commission to tally, announce results and declare the winners. Should anyone violate this, the law will take its course. The Commission has already directed the Uganda Communications Commission to put off Air any media house that refuses to comply with this requirement.

On this note, the Commission would like to thank the Uganda Police force for being a dependable partner in ensuring the security of the electoral environment

  • Polling Dates for the General Elections

The Electoral Commission appointed the dates below as polling dates for the various elective positions in the 2016 General Elections:


Elective Position

Polling Date








Chairpersons, Directly Elected Councilors and Women Councilors for District (LC V);



Lord Mayor, Directly Elected Councilors and Women Councilors for Kampala Capital City Authority



Councilors for PWDs, Older Persons and Youth to District Councils and Kampala Capital City Authority;



Chairpersons, Directly Elected Councilors and Women Councilors for Municipality and Kampala Capital City Divisions;



PWDs, Older Persons and Youth Councilors to Municipalities and Kampala Capital City Divisions;



Chairpersons, Directly Elected Councilors and Women Councilors for Municipal Division, Sub County and Town Councils;



PWDs, Older Persons and Youth Councilors to Municipal Division, Sub County and Town Councils;



Arisara Karbdecho

Friday, February 12, 2016