Saturday, February 20, 2016

The people whose votes didn't count: Rukungiri, Jinja, Kyenjojo, Kabale...

The Uganda Electoral Commission announced incumbent Yoweri Museveni, winner of the 2016 presidential elections even though, by its own tallying, results from 1,787 polling stations have not been transmitted. That number is even more striking when you see where those uncounted polling stations are located. Nearly 90% of the polling stations left out are in just 9 districts. At the top is Rukungiri, Kiiza Besigye's home district, where votes from only 3 (1%) of the 276 polling stations were counted.

Why would they not count votes from 281 Kampala and Wakiso polling stations? If it came to it, you literally can send a bodaboda from the Electoral Commission to any part of Wakiso or Kampala to go fetch the returning officer and his paper tally. You people, Buganda has in the past, threatened to secede over much smaller slights! 

But all things considered, we, the Baganda, will now take several seats. We give the right to threaten secession over to the Bakiga, Basoga and some quarters of Tooro. From Rukungiri, Jinja, Kyenjojo and Kabale, nearly twice as many polling stations were excluded as from the rest of the country combined. 

Edit: In response to a colleague's request to quantify the number of votes not counted, I estimate it's about 741,000 votes. Using the Electoral Commission's data I calculated average number of voters per polling station in each district and voter turn-up by region. I then multiplied by the number of polling stations whose votes were not counted to get an estimate of votes not counted. The nine districts with big undercounts were excluded when calculating voter turn-up in their regions since they would artificially skew the data. Here is the spreadsheet.

This graphic shows how many of the uncounted polling stations came from where.

PS: It is Uganda Bureau of Statistics, not I, which subdivides Uganda along the tribal/colonial regions indicated above. Not I. Me, I am neither tribal nor colonial. 

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