Safeguards in place to prevent vote rigging - EC official
What you need to know:
- President Museveni, while delivering his New Year message, claimed there are some individuals planning to tamper with election results in connivance with some polling officials.
With only six days to polling day, the Electoral Commission (EC) has said safeguards are in place to help prevent fraud in the polls.
The regional election officer for northern Uganda, Ms Sarah Bukirwa, said lessons learnt from previous exercises have helped the Commission come up with safeguards to help deliver free and fair elections.
“This time round, the ballot papers are sealed.
Nobody can touch them, and they are sealed with their DR (declaration of result) forms,” she told journalists after a regional workshop for stakeholders on polling day activities in Lira City on Wednesday.
According to the EC official, the people who printed the presidential ballot papers are the ones who printed the DR forms.
“Nobody will look at them apart from the presiding officers. That is one safeguard,” Ms Bukirwa said.
“Secondly, we have put two seals on the ballot box: a white seal and an orange seal. Before, we had been putting one seal on the ballot boxes and during transportation, the seals are broken because of bad roads and the terrain, but now we are safeguarding by putting two seals per box,” she added. Ms Bukirwa urged those going to supervise or observe the elections to expect two seals on top of the ballot boxes.
“Thirdly, the polling kit has been flagged off by the chairperson of the Electoral Commission ahead of the polling day on January 14,” she added.
The kit was dispatched on Wednesday. In northern Uganda, Agago was the first district to receive the polling kit.
“We want the kit to be in the district in time. So, I urge all candidates to tell their agents to guard the kit from today [onwards],” the regional election officer said.
“So, I expect all those stakeholders who are accredited to go and guard that kit from today up to the January 14.”
President Museveni, while delivering his New Year message, claimed there are some individuals planning to tamper with election results in connivance with some polling officials.
Mr Museveni, who is also the National Resistance Movement (NRM) presidential flag bearer, said no one will be allowed to interfere with the will of the people, adding that anyone who attempts to do so will be dealt with.
While Ms Bukirwa acknowledged that ballot stuffing and other malpractices are possible, she said safeguards are now in place to help prevent such criminal tendencies. “Really, it would be unfortunate for somebody to think that EC is not doing its safeguard. We are trying to put everything in place but we have our duty as EC, and candidates have their duties and even other stakeholders. Let everybody do their part so that we have successful elections,” she said.
Ms Bukirwa further revealed that the EC has invested in screens – 55 inch - which will be connected to the tally station. So, whichever will be entered shall be projected on the screen, she explained.