About 26,000 ballots in Cebu undergo ‘random manual audit’
CEBU CITY, Philippines — At least 33 ballot boxes containing roughly 26,000 ballots from various precincts in Cebu will undergo ‘random manual audit’.
The Commission on Elections in Cebu (Comelec-Cebu) said they would be sending these ballots to their headquarters in Metro Manila as part of their procedure to ‘eliminate any doubts’ about the electoral process, said lawyer Jerome Brillantes, acting Provincial Elections supervisor.
“The random manual audit will also crosscheck if the count generated by our VCMs (vote-counting machines) are accurate,” Brillantes told reporters in Cebuano.
Brillantes said a private, professional services firm would be the one to conduct the ballot audit after which these would be sent back to Cebu.
Roughly 50 VCMs all over Cebu reportedly malfunctioned during the May 9 national and local elections.
During the canvassing of results last May 10, the Board of Canvassers in Cebu briefly suspended their session when another VCM bogged down in Bogo City.
On the other hand, Comelec-Cebu also reported that they recorded around 98,000 rejected ballots.
Rejected ballots, also known as spoiled ballots, are those that were not fed into VCMs, or have been rejected, due to various reasons. These included ink and other stains blotting the ballot itself.
“These rejected ballots, yes (we can say they are minimal). Considering we have a higher voter turnout this year. Sayang lang kay (It’s just a waste because) it would have helped increase our voter turnout even more,” Brillantes said.
The rejected ballots have been torn, and parts of them were transported to their national office in Metro Manila for documentation and safekeeping, he said.
Despite these concerns, Comelec-Cebu assured the public that the electoral process in the entire province was peaceful and orderly.
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