Tall Group delivers for Ugandan ballot

Jo Francis
Thursday, January 21, 2021

Tall Security Print is celebrating after playing a key role in the recent Ugandan elections.

Tall Security Print: ballot papers during production
Tall Security Print: ballot papers during production

The Runcorn firm is part of the Tall Group of companies. It secured the Ugandan contract following detailed tender process.

Group managing director Martin Ruda explained that the resulting ballot paper production involved fast turnaround and complex production requirements.

“The timeframe gets concertinaed into a very tight window, because the election processes work on the basis of leaving a window open for candidates to put their names forward to participate in the ballot either in their local area or on a national basis,” he said.

“We as ballot print suppliers literally get a few days in which the data and, in this case, the photographs of the candidates, need to be matched.”

The Ugandan ballot involved some 14,000 candidates. In African countries it is the norm for candidate’s photographs to be included on the ballot paper.

Ruda said the entire team at Tall Security Print – from origination, through to print and the shipping department – had done “a fantastic job” and he was immensely proud of the firm’s involvement.

“This is the second consecutive Ugandan electoral process that we have supported. We last supported their elections in 2016. So we did have an understanding of the way it worked and that did stand us in good stead.”

Production, which took place in the run up to Christmas and into the New Year, was also complicated by Covid-19 restrictions. Tall had to find a new way to accommodate a delegation from Uganda that needed to oversee the work.

“That was challenging. The delegation’s tasks include validating proofs, layouts and designs. Because of the very tight timescale and current circumstances, the team were hosted in a local hotel isolated and social distanced,” Ruda said.

“It did add yet another layer of complication to the process this time around. A sterling job was done by all the team – our teams, the Ugandan team, and the hotel that looked after them,” he added.

The Ugandan elections took place last week. President H.E. Yoweri Museveni was re-elected. The country has a population of around 45.7m people.

Tall Group has produced millions of ballot papers over the years for elections here in the UK, and for a wide range of international customers. Ruda said that “when the dust settles on 2020” and on the group’s results for last year, international sales were likely to make up around 20% of sales.

“We have continued to grow our export business in absolute terms and we think that stands us in good stead for the future – the Ugandan contract is an example of what we’re doing,” he stated.

The Tall Group of companies also includes Checkprint in Hinckley and DLRT in Lisburn. The group had sales of just over £11m in its most recent accounts, for 2019.

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