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Manual vote recount in 19 Cebu precincts

By: Sheila Mae Gumapon June 02,2016 - 10:52 PM

A RANDOM manual audit committee has been verifying the ballots of 19 clustered precincts in Cebu province and one in Bohol province since last Tuesday.

The ballot audit was intended to reassess the accuracy of the vote-counting machines (VCMs) in tabulating the votes for national candidates in last month’s elections, said committee member Telibert Laoc yesterday.

The ballot verification was done in coordination with the Commission on Elections (Comelec), National Citizens Movement for Free Elections (Namfrel) and Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).

Laoc said these clustered precincts are randomly picked by the Comelec and they will submit their audit results to the Comelec central office.

“Instead of bringing the ballots to Manila, we come here with the Comelec, Namfrel and PSA to verify them,” Laoc said.

He said this latest audit is the second after the May 10 audit.

Laoc said representatives of political parties were present during the first day of the audit.

Ballots were opened and votes were checked one by one.

About 30 clustered precincts that are subject for random manual audit in Cebu province were identified by Comelec.

These include San Fernando town in the 1st district; Boljoon and Santander in the 2nd district; Aloguinsan, Balamban and Pinamungajan in the 3rd district; Medellin and Tabogon in the 4th district; Compostela, Liloan, and Tudela in the 5th district; Consolacion in the 6th district; and Malabuyoc and Badian in the 7th district.

Also covered were: Talisay City and Carcar City in the 1st district; Bogo City in the 4th district; Danao City in the 5th district; two barangays (Tipolo and Paknaan) in Mandaue City in the 6th district; two barangays (Basak and Pajo) in Lapu-Lapu City’s lone district; and six barangays (Mabolo, T. Padilla, Talamban, Guadalupe, Inayawan and Kalunasan) in Cebu City.

Laoc said the remaining 19 clustered precincts are part of the 30 clustered precincts identified by Comelec.

When asked if the results of the audit which haven’t coincided with the automated count can be used as basis for an electoral protest, Laoc replied that any errors are negligible. The random manual audit committee will also give recommendations to Comelec. The manual verification will end next week.

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