CEBU

Low turnout in bry., SK polls disappoints election officer

ONLY 74.74 percent, or 2.1 million of 2.9 million voters in Cebu, cast their votes during the barangay elections last May, while only 71.62 percent, or 774,219 of more than a million, voted during the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections.

Cebu Provincial Election Supervisor Lionel Marco Castillano was surprised by the report since voter turnout in Cebu during the 2016 national elections was 85 percent.

Based on data provided by Castillano’s office, of the 2,158,072 who voted in the barangay elections, 1,021,010 were male and 1,137,062 were female. In the SK polls, 377,599 of the voters were male, while 396,620 were female.

Of the towns and cities in Cebu, San Remigio in the north had the highest turnout in the barangay elections, where 87 percent cast their votes, or 34,143 out of 38,924 registered voters. Alcoy in the south had the highest turnout among SK voters with 82.71 percent, or 3,526 of 5,212 registered voters casting their ballots.

Double-check

The second highest turnout in the barangay elections was also in Alcoy, where 85.17 percent of registered voters cast their ballots. The second highest turnout in the SK elections was in Borbon in the north, where 82.45 percent voted.The northern town of Compostela had the lowest turnout in the barangay elections with 60.54 percent, while Tudela in Camotes Island had the lowest turnout in the SK elections with only 66.22.

Castillano said that he has issued a memorandum to all election officers for a review of all their data to determine if what they have presented so far is correct.

Castillano said that one factor for the low turnout may have been the lack of interest. Some voters, he said, thought that the elections would be postponed again.

“Even sa pila ka days before sa election, naa pay mga estorya nga dili madayon (there were talks that it won’t push through). So, mao seguro nang kulang og interes (that might have affected the turnout),” he said.

President Rodrigo Duterte had postponed the barangay and SK elections twice starting in October 2016.

Two months before the barangay and SK elections last May, Rep. Reynaldo Umali filed a bill seeking for its postponement, as Congress was set to review the 1987 Constitution following the President’s call for the country to shift towards a federal state.

Castillano said that he is pushing for better voter’s education to teach the public the importance of the right to vote.


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