SOME 1,735,119 voters trooped to polling precincts in Cebu last Monday, May 13, or 80.37 percent of the province’s 2,158,895 registered voters.
The number, though, excludes voters from highly urbanized cities Cebu and Lapu-Lapu.
According to the Commission on Elections (Comelec), this year’s midterm elections saw more voters compared to the 1,629,553 who cast their votes in the 2016 presidential elections and the 1,446,114 who voted in the 2013 midterm elections.
Cebu Provincial Election Supervisor Jerome Brillantes said there were more voters this year because they trusted the security measures that were implemented.
“I am very happy that, at least, the Cebuanos exercise their right to suffrage. They actively participate in our election,” he said.
Toledo City was the last to transmit its election returns on Thursday dawn, May 16, delaying the proclamation of Rep. Gwen Garcia (Cebu, 3rd district) and Gov. Hilario Davide III as governor-elect and vice governor-elect, respectively.
Damaged secure digital cards were blamed for the delay.
In Cebu City, Comelec recorded a lower turnout of voters.
Chauncey Boholst, chairman of the City Board of Canvassers, said only 76.10 percent of registered voters showed up at the polling precincts last Monday compared to the 83.3 percent who voted in 2016, or a 7.2 percentage point drop.
Boholst said that one of the factors that kept some voters away might have been reports of harassment and intimidation in the days leading to the elections.
He said most of those who did not vote were urban residents.
“The turnout in the urban area was only 70 percent compared to the 80 percent in the mountain barangays,” he said.
Cebu City has 709,608 registered voters.
Meanwhile, Brillantes urged candidates and their supporters to clean up their election materials. (See separate story on Page 8.)
He also reminded candidates to submit their statements of contributions and expenditures on or before June 12.
Brillantes said some teachers who served in election boards will get their honorarium on Friday, May 17.
He said some election officers received their honoraria as early as Wednesday, May 15. (From SCG of SuperBalita Cebu, KAL, RVC)