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Is position of a candidate on 2016 ballot paper an advantage or disadvantage?

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Is position of a candidate on 2016 ballot paper an advantage or disadvantage?

How it will look like. Uganda's 2016 Presidential ballot paper

How it will look like. Uganda’s 2016 Presidential ballot paper

The Electoral Commission recently unveiled the 2016 presidential ballot paper to journalists and election observers perhaps to help candidates alert their supporters where they stood on the ballot.

Indeed the position of a given candidate on the ballot had been a talking point in some circles and suggested that there is more to the ballot paper than meets the eye.

The eight presidential candidates are arranged on the ballot paper in a vertical order and their position was determined by which names they submitted as their preferred first names.

The candidates are arranged as thus;

1. Abed Bwanika
2. Amama Mbabazi,
3. Baryamureeba Venancius,
4. Benon Biraaro,
5. Kizza Besigye Kifeefe,
6. Mabiriizi Joseph,
7. Maureen Faith Kyalya Waluube
8. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni

Although both Abed and Amama have ‘A’ as initial letters on their first names, Bwanika knocks Amama from the top of the ballot because of the subsequent letter ‘B’ that comes before Amama’s ‘M’.

If there is any clear winners in as far as someone’s position on the ballot paper is concerned, it is Abed Bwanika at the top and Yoweri Museveni at the bottom. This is because, for a society with many illiterate voters, position is one of the things that can help a voter not to waste a vote.

But Kizza Besigye’s well illuminated photograph alongside his trademark bright blue colour could this time also play to his advantage by attracting voters, who knows.

And although Museveni dressed in a coat in the 2011 ballot paper photo, this time he decided to keep his yellow shirt and trademark hat.

Another interesting observation is that candidates Besigye and Mbabazi deliberately dropped their religious names Warren and John Patrick respectively.

It all remains to be seen if the calculations as to where someone is positioned on the ballot paper turns out to be an advantage.

Meanwhile, by the time you read this, nearly all ballot papers will have reached the district headquarters waiting to be dispatched for polling day tomorrow.

The Electoral commission started dispatching vehicles loaded with ballots for upcountry districts on Monday morning. They started with distant places such as West Nile, and Karamoja.

Helped by a largely secure political environment as well as dry weather conditions and in most parts of the country, transportation of voting materials is expected to move smoothly.

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