Close to 17 million ballots printed-A A +A
Saturday, February 23, 2013
THREE weeks after printers began to roll at the National Printing Office (NPO), almost one-third of the more than 52 million official ballots set to be used in the May 13 midterm elections are already printed out.
In a phone interview, NPO Deputy Director Raul Nagrampa said they have already printed 16.5 million ballots as of Friday night.
“That is already 31 percent of our total,” boasted Nagrampa.
He said the development came after they managed to meet their goal of printing one million ballots per day seven days ago.
And given their current pace, the NPO official said they are confident that their earlier target date for completion would be easily met.
“If everything goes well and given this pace, we will complete this two weeks ahead of schedule,” said Nagrampa.
Printing of the ballots began last February 4 and NPO’s contract with the Comelec states that the printing must be completed in 90 days or until April 25.
Nagrampa said out of the 16.5 million ballots already printed, some 200,000 pieces were placed in quarantine.
Those placed in the quarantine are those with physical defects such as crumpled, mis-cut, mis-printed, torn, or folded, explained the official.
On the other hand, he said the number of those rejected by the Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines during the test run is “far less than” 50 ballots.
Nagrampa said the rejected ballots were those who may have had inks that are either “too thick” or “too thin” for the PCOS machines to read.
To note, the Comelec has placed156 PCOS units, where the ballots will be ran to test their compatibility with the machines as well as the presence of the five security features.
After the ballots pass the test, they will be turned over to the packaging committee for proper packing of the ballots.
If not, Nagrampa said the “PCOS-rejected” ballots will be properly accounted for and subsequently destroyed through shredding. (HDT/Sunnex)