The Electoral Commission has confirmed that a voter was caught attempting to insert pre-ticked ballot papers into the ballot box in the recently concluded district Woman Parliamentary byelection in Hoima.
In a statement issued Wednesday, the Electoral Commission Chairman, Justice Simon Byabakama said the Commission received reports on the alleged ballot stuffing on one of the polling stations.
The said voter was intercepted by the Polling Constable.
“Two agents for candidate Nyakato Asinansi, namely, Hon. Michael Kabaziguruka and. Maj. Gen. Mugisha Muntu (Rtd) reported to the Commission that a voter attempted to insert pre-ticked ballot papers into the ballot box, but was intercepted by the Polling Constable for that station,” the Commission said.
Byabakama says the pre-ticked ballot papers should have been handed over to Police for further investigation but Gen. Muntu insisted that they (ballots) be handed over to the Electoral Commission.
“The Commission assigned one of our senior Legal Officers to receive them, and a total of fifty-one (51) ticked ballot papers were handed over to us”.
The ballot papers in question are now a subject of Police investigation, according to the Commission.
“The Commission is committed to pursue that matter with Police and ensure that the culprits are brought to book”.
Meanwhile, the E.C has dismissed the allegations made by some leaders of the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) claiming that the electoral body issued ballot papers to the National Resistance Movement (NRM) before polling day.
“This allegation is incorrect,” Justice Byabakama said.
The Commission has also expressed “disappointment” with the acts of suspected forgery by some FDC supporters “who made counterfeit accreditation tags and distributed them to their agents for purposes of observing the by-election”.
Some of the suspects, namely Kizza Hakim and one Walakira were arrested by Police and have since been charged with forgery before the Magistrate’s Court at Hoima and are now remanded.
The Commission has warned the general public that forgery of election materials is a criminal act.
In the same statement, the Commission says the elections were characterized by abuse of social media platforms by some individuals.
According to the E.C, there was a lot of falsehood disseminated including fictitious results from non-existing polling stations, during the tallying of elections results.
“The Commission condemns this behavior as it misleads the public and other stakeholders and gives voters false hope about the results”.
“We urge Ugandans not to abuse these social media platforms, and warn the public to desist from sharing unverified information”.