“It was a Statistical Error” - Says Uganda Electoral Commission Spokesman

Photo Courtesy: TMS Ruge

Finally yesterday we got a response from the Electoral Commission’s spokesman about concerns of inaccurate data in the voter’s register to be used in the forth coming presidential and parliamentary elections due in exactly 7 days.

“It was a statistical error”, EC spokesman said. “If you add the figures of males and females, you’ll get 15,277,197” he added.

Twitter exchange with EC spokesman - Jotham Taremwa

Here’s the problem Mr. Taremwa, saying it was a statistical error is not explanation enough to Ugandans. The Electoral Commission owes it to the people of Uganda to keep an accurate database of voters if we are to be guaranteed a free and fair election. What’s more worrying is that no one caught this “statistical error” until it was brought to light a few days ago. The document with the major “statistical errors” has since been brought down and we still don’t know how the Electoral Commission intends to address or “fix” the errors. Will these changes be reflected at constituency, parish, sub-county levels? These are the questions every Ugandan should be asking.

One document that the Electoral Commission has not yet put down is this PDF here. In this document please note that the “vote count” used is the one that generated the “statistical error” results.

Excel with data from original document
Caption of another document from EC website

The questions we need to keep asking are; how did the statistical errors happen? How come no one at the Electoral Commission noticed? How can we assure Ugandans a free and fair election with all these issues at hand? Asking these questions is seeking accountability from the Electoral Commission.

20,000 voters may seem as a small number but with an election that has 8 candidates and requires a 50% plus one vote for a candidate to be declared winner, every vote counts.

When I sought clarity on these issues the EC spokesman’s response was simple “stop politicizing these matters”.

The Electoral Commission owes it to Ugandans to give a sound response to these questions. There a lot of concerns about if the Electoral Commission is ready to conduct a free and fair election and up to this point, 7 days to election day, we have more questions than answers.

As concerned citizens we will not stop asking questions, we still have the data in our hands and we are still looking at it analytically and will keep documenting our findings for every Ugandan to know the truth.