Amended Petition Challenging the Process and Outcome of Presidential Elections in Uganda held on 18 February 2016
With changes and advances in technology, the amended petition filed on 7 March 2016 before the Supreme Court of Uganda (based on compelling the Court to audit the results from the 112 districts in general and 28,010 polling stations in particular) could lead to an outcome different from the one in in 2006 and 2001 petitions, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mcQtE2sQ6O0
Significantly, the amended petition before the Supreme Court relies on biometric machines, Biometric Voter Verification System, electronic results transmission and dissemination system observing that:
1. “The biometric machines working for nine hours and allocating two minutes per voter could verify approximately 270 voters per polling station yielding approximately 7,562,700 voters nationally. In effect the 10,329,131 voters the Electoral Commission declared as having voted could not have voted on polling day.” It is practically impossible for 500 voters to have cast votes between 9am-4pm in areas where one candidate was declared to have got 100 per cent as the Biometric Voter Verification System indicates the number that voted per polling station.
2. “The number of voters declared by the Electoral Commission included numbers of the pre-ticked ballot papers stuffed at various polling stations and post-ticked and stuffed in favour of …[a candidate declared to have won]”.
3. If the Electoral Commission (EC) is sure and confident that the results it announced were a true reflection of what transpired on the voting day, the amended petition challenges the EC to disclose and produce the declaration forms together with the images/clones of the Biometric Voter Verification System (BVVS) and electronic results transmission and dissemination system for purposes of adding up and tallying the number of votes cast for each candidate as recorded on the forms for ascertainment of the final result in comparison with that announced and declared by the EC.
4. “Since each voter had their finger prints recorded and names verified, and stored, its record (of the biometric machines) is relevant and necessary in determining the number of voters that voted during the election in comparison with what was declared by the Electoral Commission included numbers of the pre-ticked ballot papers at various polling stations and post”.
5. The disclosure and discovery of the data on the biometric voter verification kits for each polling station and their database on the national basis is necessary to prove that the number of voters declared by the EC was substantially or materially different from the number of voters recorded on the biometric kits.
On the basis of the foregoing, it is possible to satisfy the Court that there was non-compliance with the law and this non-compliance substantially affected the outcome of the election. In the past petitions the Court was satisfied that there was non-compliance with the law and several electoral malpractices. The only question on which judges were divided was on the effect on non-compliance on the results declared. Did the non-compliance affect the results ‘substantially’?
Modern technology comes in now to help determine the effect on non-compliance on results declared. In short, if the available technological evidence succeeds in demonstrating that the results announced/declared by the EC do not tally and were affected substantially, especially in instances where there was 100 per cent voter turnout and 100 per cent of the valid votes cast in favour of a candidate declared as a winner, history may be made not only in Uganda but also in Africa and beyond.