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
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.
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.