Comelec ready to address possible ballot shortage

The Philippine Star
Comelec ready to address possible ballot shortage
According to the Comelec, voters whose names were erroneously deleted from the voters’ list shall be allowed to vote in other precincts in case they cannot be accommodated due to ballot shortage.
Edd Gumban

MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has adopted contingency measures to address possible ballot shortage on election day on Monday.

According to the Comelec, voters whose names were erroneously deleted from the voters’ list shall be allowed to vote in other precincts in case they cannot be accommodated due to ballot shortage.

“There is a need to provide for contingency procedures in case the number of allocated official ballots for a clustered precinct is less than the number of registered voters in the same clustered precincts because of the inclusion of over 700 voters,” Comelec said.

The poll body had earlier approved the inclusion of over 713 names inadvertently deleted from the list of voters. Their names would be manually inserted in the computerized voters’ list on election day.

Comelec said voters whose names are inserted in the list shall be allowed to vote in another precinct within the same voting center or in another barangay where ballots are still available, under the guidance of a Department of Education Supervisor Official (DESO).

The official shall coordinate with the Electoral Boards (EBs) of other polling precincts with available ballots.

“In case there are no other precincts with available ballots within their jurisdiction, the DESO shall confer with other DESO within the same municipality,” Comelec said.

The EB with available ballots shall record the names of concerned voters.

A verification receipt shall be presented to the EB before the voter shall be allowed to vote.

Also yesterday, the Comelec published a resolution on the use of the Voters Registration Verification System (VRVS) in the coming elections.

The Comelec is pilot-testing VRVS in selected areas nationwide as part of the efforts to ensure clean and credible polls.

With the VRVS, the identity of a voter can be confirmed with the use of finger scanning. 

Also yesterday, Comelec Chairman Sheriff Abas said the poll body is prepared for canvassing work.

“We are now ready,” Abas declared yesterday, as he noted the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC), where the canvassing will be held, is being secured.

He said Comelec, sitting as National Board of Canvassers (NBOC), would convene on Monday at 3 p.m.

“By Sunday, we will invite the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the vicinities of PICC shall be closed for security protocols,” he maintained.

He said the Commission expects to proclaim the 12 winning senatorial candidates within two weeks after the elections.

Comelec spokesman James Jimenez said they have almost completed the deployment of ballots and other election paraphernalia.

“We are nearly complete with the deployment. I think we just have one or two cities in the NCR (National Capital Region) left,” Jimenez disclosed.

He said that while some vote counting machines have to be pulled out and replaced, Final Testing and Sealing (FTS) is still expected to be completed by the end of the week.

“But, then again, that is the purpose of the FTS, which is to find out which ones are working and which are not,” he explained.

Meanwhile, an official of a private think tank has asked voters to choose senatorial and local candidates deemed capable of addressing employment concerns.

“Voters should ask senatorial and local candidates what they will do to generate jobs and increase the income of workers. They should have balanced solutions that will go beyond myopic political terms,” Albert del Rosario Institute for Strategic and International Studies (ADRi) president Dindo Manhit said at a recent roundtable discussion.

“This will need a shifting to a more strategic mindset that focuses on long-term competitiveness and sustainability instead of myopic political cycles,” he said.

The forum was led by ADRi non-resident fellow Vicente Paqueo and Philippine Institute for Development Studies research fellow Michael Abrigo.     

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