MORE voters cast their votes last May 13 in Cebu Province than on May 10, 2010, according to the Commission on Elections (Comelec).
An increase in voter turnout was also observed in the cities of Cebu and Mandaue.
But in Lapu-Lapu City, only 74.36 percent of registered voters—128,898 out of 173,341—cast their votes in 199 clustered precincts, compared to 80.5 percent in 2010.
In Cebu Province, 80.86 percent—1,446,114 out of 1,788,498 registered voters—went to vote. This is higher than 2010’s 77 percent.
Comelec 7 Director Temie Lambino said the high turnout in last week’s elections can be due to the “cleansing” of automated system. It can also be because voters have become better informed, he added.
Among the towns, Ginatilan recorded the highest number of voters who actually voted, or 9,220 out of 10,168.
Bantayan Islands had the lowest turnout with only about 36 percent or 28,558 out of the 44,854 registered voters.
In Cebu City, 81.36 percent—or 445,576 votes out of the 548,681 registered voters—went to their assigned precincts last week, compared to 80 percent in 2010.
Cebu City South District Election Officer Ferdinand Gujilde attributed this to the “intense rivalry” among the candidates.
“There is intense rivalry between BOPK (Bando Osmeña Pundok Kauswagan) and Team Rama–UNA (United Nationalist Alliance). It's like a photo finish. It was close especially in the vice mayoral contest and it was shown in the results,” said Gujilde.
Councilor Edgardo Labella defeated reelectionist Vice Mayor Joy Augustus Young with just 184 votes.
Gujilde said the voter turnout is what the election office would have expected for the presidential elections.
Lapu-Lapu City Election Officer Anna Fleur Gujilde said the turnout may be different in a presidential election.
“One of the factors (in the decrease) is that it was the midterm elections. Maybe voters are more interested in the presidential elections,” she said.
In Mandaue City, the turnout increased slightly to 73.5 percent from 73 percent in 2010. Out of the 187,318 registered voters, 137,684 exercised their right to vote in the city’s 205 clustered precincts last May 13.
Mandaue’s voting population this year, though, was higher than 2010’s 4,505, said city election assistant Jacqueline Reuyan.
Reuyan said more voters may have decided to participate in the recent election because they are more familiar with the Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machine.
The PCOS system was introduced in the 2010 presidential elections.
Reuyan said the shorter wait at precincts may have also caused the increase in the turnout.
In the 2010 elections, the Board of Election Inspectors (BEI) waited for all 10 voters to finish before letting in the next batch of voters. The long wait may have forced many voters to leave their polling centers, Reuyan said.
In last week’s elections, the BEI allowed another voter to enter the voting room as soon as a voter finished casting his or her vote.
The Cebu Provincial Board (PB) yesterday commended the Comelec for ensuring the success of the May 13 elections.
The PB Members Ceasar Ian Zambo and Sergio Restauro, who both lost their bid for another term, were absent during the session.
In Cebu City, BOPK said it will file an electoral protest.
The party called for a count of rejected ballots during the canvassing, but the Comelec said the motion should have been made at the polling place.
The Comelec denied the BOPK motion for lack of jurisdiction by the Cebu City Board of Canvassers.