Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Misplaced ballots located

An employee of the Baguio City Treasurer's Office accounts ballots to make sure the identification number match today's national and local election. (Photo by Jean Nicole Cortes)

MISPLACED ballots intended for Barangay Pugius in La Trinidad, Benguet and Sto. Tomas, Baguio City were immediately returned after the Commission on Elections (Comelec)–Baguio discovered the glitch during the testing of vote counting machines (VCMs).

Baguio City Election supervisor Reyman Solbita said ballots were returned to their respective precincts during the launching for the pledge of commitment for a “No to vote buying and no to vote selling” campaign headed by the Department of the Interior and Local Governments (DILG), Baguio City Police Office (BCPO), Parish Pastoral Council For Responsible Voting (PPCRV) and the Commission on Higher Education (CHED).

“When we were in the process of checking all the election paraphernalia including the ballots, we found out some ballots which were supposed to be for Puguis in La Trinidad, Benguet to have been placed with the majority of the ballots for Santo Tomas,” Solbita explained.

The City Electoral Tribunal noticed the misent ballots by checking the numbered code for Santo Tomas which indicated it was for Puguis, La Trinidad.

“We immediately informed all concerned political parties, the electoral board officials and other government agencies and private organizations about what we discovered and conducted a checking of those ballots,” Solbita added.

Aside from the lone case of misent ballots, the testing for the VCM’s also showed some problems.

Comelec found defective source codes and were immediately reported to their central office for the necessary actions.

In the May 2013 polls, Comelec declared failure of elections in several polling precincts in the city after their ballots were sent to Compostela Valley.

Barangay Lualhati received ballots intended for Barangay Gabi in Compostela Valley. The affected precincts at that time were precincts 0379A, 0379B, 0380A, 0381B, and covering 638 voters.


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