After repeated ballot rejection, ex-VP Jejomar Binay casts vote anew
( - May 13, 2019 - 8:19am

MANILA, Philippines (Update 5, 11:08 a.m.) — Former Vice President Jejomar Binay was able to successfully cast his vote—two hours after the vote counting machine in his precinct in Makati City repeatedly rejected his ballot.

Binay, a congressional candidate of Makati City’s first district, was initially unable to cast his vote when a VCM at San Antonio National High School failed to read his ballot after eight attempts.

This prompted the former vice president and city mayor to go to the Philippine International Conference Center in Pasay City where the Commission on Elections is holding its national canvassing to raise his concern.

At a press briefing after a closed-door meeting with Binay, Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez said the problem lies with the machine that Binay used. He said the VCM has since been replaced.

Comelec: Problem is with VCM

“Ang naging problema ‘yung makina. But since a lot of ballots were being fed and rejected, it’s clearly the machine,” Jimenez said.

Other voters who used the same machine and whose ballots were rejected will be able to recast their votes.

“What’s important is to get the [former] vice president back there para makaboto siya kasi di lang siya ang essentially ma-re-refeeed. Lahat nung na-reject who came after him. Hindi ‘to special treatment in any way,” Jimenez said.

Binay was given a chance to re-cast his vote using a new ballot.

Binay's children, Junjun and Abby, are competing for the mayoral seat in their home turf of Makati City. Another daughter, Nancy, meanwhile, is aiming to renew her position as senator.

According to the poll body’s Resolution 10088 promulgated in 2016, in case ballots are rejected by the VCM during scanning, the Board of Election Inspectors shall allow voters to re-feed their ballots four times in four different orientations.

But if the ballot remains rejected, voters shall return the ballot to the chairman who shall:

  1. Distinctly mark the back thereof as REJECTED;
  2. Require all members of the BEI to sign at the back thereof; and
  3. Place the rejected ballot inside the envelope for rejected ballots

Comelec’s resolution also states that “No replacement ballot shall be issued to a voter whose ballot is rejected by the VCM except if the rejection of the ballot is not due to the fault of the voter.” — Gaea Katreena Cabinco; Video by Efigenio Toledo IV

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