E-voting bounces back saving Shs15m

BY ENOCK WANDEREMA

The idea of e-voting for Uganda Christian University Guild Government has bounced back with the Electoral Commission insisting it will work this year.
The e-voting was mooted last year and was supposed to be used in the previous election, but failed to materialise and instead voters used ballots.
In the e-voting review meeting held on January 21, the Guild Finance Secretary, Patricia Kalongo, said that the method would help save up to Shs15m.
That means, she said, the Shs35m election budget will be cut down by sh15m to sh25m if the method is used. “Previously, we have been using the Shs35m to hire tents, chairs, umbrellas, printing of ballot papers, which are not necessary this time round” Kalongo said.
Edwin Byaruhanga, the university web and e-learning administrator, said the system will have more advantages that students will enjoy.
“Students do not have to walk to designated polling stations and stand under the sunshine or in the rain in a long queue to vote,” Byaruhanga said.
The Standard has learnt that the e-voting plan was hatched by the Director of Students’ Affairs office with the view of minimising the high costs of organising the elections.
Ayub Mugereza Mutaasa, the student affairs administrator, said the reduction in costs would be due to the fact that most of the work would be performed by machines. “And we shall get results in real time,” Mutaasa said.
E-voting failed the other time partly because students lacked civic education.
But this year, the EC plans to conduct the civic education between Feb 5-6.
To use e-voting, the voter will have to verify the register with a password to see whether they are registered before accessing the device for voting.
At the start, the UCU intends to use the area network in specific labs to vote although in future there are plans to let all students vote regardless of where they are on election day.