MEASURING 24 inches long and eight inches wide, the ballots for the May 2010 polls are imbedded with security features, a poll official said.

Lawyer Rene Buac, regional director of Commission on Elections (Comelec) Cebu said each ballot is imbedded with bar codes and has unique ultraviolet signatures that could only be read by the machine where that ballot will be used. If used of another precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machine, the ballot will be rejected.  

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Buac said these features will help address the problem on ballot switching and counterfeiting. 

Since the names of the candidates are already printed in the ballot, shaving and padding of votes will be minimized, if not eradicated, Buac told journalists in a recently-concluded Philippine Press Institute forum in Cebu City. 

The ballot, which would contain 300 names (150 each side) is user-friendly because every elective position is color-coded. 

New rules for voting discourages over-voting because the PCOS machine will not read more than the allotted number of votes per position. The PCOS machine can also scan both sides of the ballots simultaneously, Buac added. 

Buac also clarified the automation addresses only the counting system and not vote buying, terrorism and coercion.

Buac called on the public to be vigilant. “Voting is a right but we also have the obligation to choose wisely who to vote for,” Buac said.