EC sounds alarm over pre–ticked ballot papers ahead of tomorrow's elections

EC chairman Badru Kiggundu displays a dummy presidential ballot paper during a press conference at the commission's head office in Kampala recently. Photo by Racheal Ajwang

Electoral Commission (EC) chairperson Badru Kiggundu claims some people intend to print pre–ticked ballot papers for use in tomorrow’s elections.
He adds there is information some Ugandans have also designed software to tally the votes that will be cast.
These developments come on the heels of the EC’s dispatch of polling kits from Kampala to different districts.

“Apparently, there are even plans to print similar ballot papers or seemingly similar, and pre – tick them and parade them before the media to discredit the electoral process. Be on the lookout. Our eyes and ears are on this process,” Kiggundu said Wednesday while addressing the media and the commission head office in Kampala.
He did not name any suspects.
But he added that ‘doomsday advocates are always part of this process’.
Still, he assured the public of the safety as well as custody of the genuine ballot papers.

“The commission would like to assure the public…that our ballots have special features that distinguish them from the fake ones. But we cannot disclose those features. However much I like you, I cannot tell you,” he added.
Dr Kiggundu further noted that the commission has notified the security agencies led by IGP Kale Kayihura about the fake ballot papers and to investigate and arrest the suspects behind the act of making fake ballot papers and forward their cases to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).
Kiggundu also warned the media against announcing the election results, which he said is the role of the EC.

“Desist from making announcements. Any media that will be caught announcing results, we have directed the Uganda Communications Commission to take appropriate action. And if you lose your signal, don’t look for me. Don’t make any announcements because the only institution in law to make announcements of what comes out of elections particularly declarations is the Electoral Commission,” Kiggundu said.
Ugandans go to the polls tomorrow. They will be voting for president, directly elected Members of Parliament and the Women representatives.
Deputy police spokesperson Polly Namaye said earlier that the police have been deployed in the election hotspots to ensure there is no chaos.

Uganda Prisons spokesperson Mr Frank Baine said Prisons is keen on what is going on – since it is part of the security agencies.
“You know whatever happens, especially negative, we [prisons] are the people who keep the products. In terms of being ready, well, we are congested. But we still have space for those who might want to do mischief,” Baine says.
Baine said prisons staff are on standby to ensure the criminals now in custody do not go and disturb the peace loving Ugandans.
Namaye added, “We have had over five years to prepare for this election. So it is not taking us by surprise. We have incorporated other agencies…and so we are very prepared. So nothing can go wrong.”

Some of the things you need to know for tomorrow’s elections
Voting hours: 7am – 4pm. All those who will be in the line by 4pm will be allowed to vote.
Requirements: Either a voter’s identification slip or a national identity card. Still, as long as one is on the national voters register, the presiding officer should allow one to vote.
Not allowed: pens, mobile phones. Badru said some people pretend they are getting pens from their pockets yet they would actually be getting fake ballot papers. He said the camera phones would not be allowed in the polling booths to ensure each voter enjoys privacy