Lack of Photos on Ballot Papers Irks Candidates in Luwero

Candidates contesting for Parish Councillor seats in Luwero town council have criticized the Electoral Commission for failure to print their photos on the ballot papers.

On Wednesday, voters turned up to elect LCIII Chairpersons for sub-counties and town councils across the country. The voters are also voting for Parish councillors.

Unlike the ballot papers for candidates of LCIII Chairperson Seats, the ballot papers for candidates of Parish councillor seats have only symbols and names of candidates.

This has angered the candidates and their voters saying this may create confusion and affect the results.

Hassan Nsubuga the NRM candidate for Kavule Parish councillor seat says that during nominations, the Electoral Commission asked for photos, which created hope that these were to be scanned and printed on the ballot papers for easy identification by voters.

Nsubuga says that some voters don’t know how to read names and these prefer to see photos before they vote for a candidate of their choice.

He adds without a photo a candidate like him who wants to get votes on both party and individual merit may lose support.

Nathan Lumu the incumbent Parish Councillor for Luwero South East Parish questioned why EC charged them 20,000 shillings for nomination without including their photos on ballot papers.

Emmanuel Nsubuga the DP Candidate for Kakookolo Parish seat faults the EC for not taking the elections serious like the past elections and this may contribute to their loss

Nsubuga says that the voters attach photos to names of candidates before they select whom to vote.

Paul Bukenya the Acting Spokesperson for Electoral Commission explained that there was no time to scan photos of each candidate and print them on ballot papers because the nominations were done late. Bukenya added the candidates were many and that the EC needs more time if they are to scan and print the photos on ballot papers.

He, however, downplayed the impact of the issue saying voters can select candidates on the available symbols or names since there have been candidates on the same. Bukenya said even in 2016, EC printed ballot papers for parish councillors without passport photos and the elections went on smoothly.

Denes Sekabira the Member of Parliament elect for Katikamu North Constituency insisted that EC had time to organize free and fair elections to all candidates.

Voting is currently underway but with fewer voters compared to Parliament and Presidential elections.  

Meanwhile, the Luweero district Returning Officer, Nathan Nabaasa, has cancelled elections for councillors at several polling stations in Wobulenzi Town Council, due to delayed failed delivery of ballot papers.

The problem was discovered at Nakasero Ward, in Wobulenzi East. The undelivered ballot papers were for male councillors. The candidates and some voters who had turned up were left in confusion after they learnt of the issue.

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