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13:43:35, Monday, 27 Mar 2017
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The end of the tunnel

Reports of missing voter names from registers in polling stations have been widespread during the last few days of Sudanese elections.

 

Taban Anthony Kenyi, who works for UNMIS in Juba, was among voters who failed to find their names at Buluk polling station in Juba on 11 April, the first day of polling.

 
“I went with full momentum, ready to vote. When I did not find my name, I became very disappointed and frustrated,” said Mr. Kenyi.
 
Polling station officials advised him to search for his name at Juba University polling station. Again his name was missing. Disappointed, Mr. Kenyi went home, but resumed his search the next day.
 
“I went back to my original polling station hoping a miracle had occurred that night, but there was no change. My name was still missing,” he said.
 
After searching for his name in five different stations without success, Mr. Kenyi gave up. He tried again on the third day to no avail.
 
“Because 13 April was originally the final voting day, I thought it was over for me,” he said.
 
But Mr. Kenyi’s fortunes changed on the evening of 13 April, after National Elections Commission Secretary-General Jalal Mohamed Ahmed announced a two-day extension of the poll.
 
“I had two more days to search for my name. I considered going to the State High Committee to seek assistance,” he said.
 
Accompanied by other UNMIS national staff whose names were also missing from the registers in their polling stations, Mr. Kenyi went to the State High Committee on 14 April.
 
“The data centre staff found my name registered at the Hai Ruben polling station located at the Juba Commercial Secondary School,” Mr. Kenyi said.
 
At 2 p.m. on Wednesday, 14 April, Mr. Kenyi finally cast his ballot.
 
“I am happy I voted. I would have missed my chance to vote if the election dates were not extended. I hope the same mistakes will not be repeated in the next elections,” said Mr. Kenyi.
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