Unsealed ballot boxes worry opposition leaders in Iganga

Volunteers check to make sure ballot boxes are intact.

Iganga, Uganda | URN | Opposition leaders in Iganga district have accused Electoral Commission [EC] officials of failure to use strong seals on the ballot boxes which they say creates suspicion of possible vote rigging before the polling day.

It was observed that out of the 323 ballot boxes received at the Iganga district headquarters on Wednesday 6th evening, five lacked seals whereas seals of 32 others had been tampered with.

Speaking to journalists on Thursday 7th, January 2021, opposition leaders stressed that since EC officials take approximately two years implementing the electoral cycle, they should desist from avoidable mistakes which breed mistrust in the public.

Forum for Democratic Change [FDC] election supervisor, Saleh Muwanguzi says that EC should thoroughly investigate the issue of broken seals as it kills the morale of some voters who may assume that since the ballot boxes are tampered with, their votes are not necessary.

Muwanguzi adds that contestants have labored to rally members of the public for support and it is therefore the role of EC to ensure a clean electoral process without committing mistakes which cast doubts among both the electorates and the politicians alike.

Francis Muganga, the National Unity Platform [NUP] flagbearer for Iganga municipality parliamentary seat says that unscrupulous individuals can easily pullout some ballot papers from the visibly open ballot boxes.

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Muganga further says that there was an excess of one ballot box for Nawaningyi sub county but EC officials are yet to explain the abnormally.

Meanwhile, the Iganga district returning officer, Mercy Ataho says that EC officials are jointly working with different election stakeholders to ensure that all ballot boxes are inspected and sealed before storage.