The National Election Watch (NEW) has observed that the lateness of citizens’ education had an impact on the elections, as many people did not know the purpose of local government. The preliminary statement of NEW states further, “inadequate sensitization about local government process was apparent as some people were saying, “I have already voted for the President, what else do I need to vote for?”
According to NEW combined with misinformation or party information, many people were confused about how to vote. “The complexity of the voting process, particularly for those voting for Town Councils, was thought to demand a greater and more proactive education process,” the statement stressed. NEW maintained that the issue of participation was affected by a number of issues.
They also observed that some voters found it difficult to find where they should vote, as the stations where they registered no longer existed on polling day. Others found their ID card numbers not matching the polling station’s electoral role numbers and their names were missing from the register.
They also maintained that some voters were reportedly discouraged by the difficulty they found in accessing their vote due to the reasons above and returned home without voting. NEW emphasised that some Presiding Officers and polling agents had problems exercising their duties. It went on to state, “in some polling stations it was noted that presiding officers did not know about the seal required to lock the ballot box. Some did not know which information they could share with observers (such as total voter roll); and many did not know what accreditation forms were required for validation of observers.”