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13,945 Invalid Votes Recorded in Kasese During Last Week's Polls

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Ismael Takik Atwijukire, the Kasese District Returning Officer attributes the high number of invalid votes to the limited voter sensitisation in this year’s general elections.
20 Jan 2021 07:38
Kasese

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Kasese district registered 13,945 invalid votes during last weeks’ presidential and parliamentary elections. This in addition to 1,311 spoilt ballots registered in the same polls.

According to the Declaration of Results forms-DR from Kasese District Electoral Commission offices, 6,817 invalid votes were recorded in the presidential elections and 3327 in the woman parliamentary polls. There are 384,058 registered voters in Kasese district spread in six constituencies. The invalid votes represent about 3.6 percent of the total registered voters in the district.

According to the presidential election results announced by the Commission, 381, 386 invalid votes were registered nationwide.  This means Kasese district alone contributed 1.7 percent of the invalid voters cast in the presidential elections.

Ismael Takik Atwijukire, the Kasese District Returning Officer attributes the high number of invalid votes to the limited voter sensitisation in this year’s general elections. He explains that a number of mistakes witnessed included double ticking of candidates while some of voters didn’t tick against any of the candidates.

According to Atwijukire, the polling officials and candidate’s agents helped to educate some of the voter prior to opening of the voting exercise.


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Fatima Cassim Surat, who lost the race for the Bukonzo West parliamentary seat, says lack of voter education cost both the candidates and electorate. For example, she says some of the voters would cancel her name thinking that she was on a wrong ballot since women only contest for the district woman MP seat.

Surat says that the absence of internet also limited the population from interacting with electoral commission for guidance.


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Atkins Katusabe, the Bukonzo West MP whose constituency registered 954 invalid and 29 spoilt ballots blames the Electoral Commission for failing to invest in mass voter education.

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Kenneth Bwambale, a voter in Bwera says most of the voters were meeting candidates for the first time due to absence of open mass campaigns. He says that out of excitement, many voters ended up marking two or more candidates on the same ballot.

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