Calls to safeguard ballots as voters report errors on election day

Teachers and volunteers prepare the polling station for national elections, in Magarao, Camarines Sur, Philippines, May 9, 2022. (Reuters / Lisa Marie David)

Filipinos are urged to be vigilant and keep an eye on their ballot papers following reports that some vote-counting machines (VCMs) broke down in the early hours of the election.

Director of the Elections Commission James Jiménez On Monday he answered a question from a voter who confirmed whether it was okay to leave their shady ballots in the district if the VCM breaks.

“Ask to see the VCM, you mean you want to know how to do it? Ok lang ba iyon?” a Twitter user he asked.

Jimenez said the voter has two options in such scenarios.

“Dalawang (niyo) options. Bumoto at iwan ang balota, or maghintay hanggang pwede na uli magamit ang makina “, has replied.

relationships he also said officials advised voters to let their ballots be processed once the VCM is resolved or a new one arrives.

Jimenez’s response was not appreciated by some Filipinos who have expressed concerns about the possibility of tampering with ballot papers and fears of alleged cheating if they leave their ballots in the district.

“So many broken VCM reports. Please DO NOT LEAVE YOUR BALLOTS before placing them inside working machines. Make your vote count! ” TV host Robi Domingo tweeted.

“A COMELEC official is simply blatantly endorsing a method that makes you very vulnerable to tampering with the vote. Don’t leave your tabs. Don’t let anyone else put it in the machine, ”another Twitter user he wrote.

“Confidentiality of the ballot kaya nga may folder? Does it make sense if you are encouraging them to leave the ballot with the possibility of other people seeing it? another online users Jimenez asked.

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As of Monday morning, the phrase “DON’T LEAVE YOUR BALLOTS” hit the top trend list on Twitter Philippines.

In automated voting, completed votes are entered into the VCM by the voter with assistance. They will wait for it to be processed and then a voting receipt will be issued. They are encouraged to double check candidate and group names to see if they have been processed.

After that, their fingers will then be inked to indicate that they have already voted.

According to Comelec rules, voters have the option leave the ballots and entrust them to the electoral commission or wait for the VCMs to be repaired so that they can instead feed the ballots and personally double-check the receipts.

Those who decide to leave their ballots will be he asked sign a waiver of their right to issue a voter receipt. Their ballots will then be placed in the envelope and then batch-fed by the constituency before the polls close.

Meanwhile, the former senator Bam Aquinothe head of the campaign of the presidential bet vice president Leni Robredo, appealed so that the voters remain inside the enclosures until they have received the voting receipts.

He also shared numbers where voters can call their volunteer attorneys if they encounter faulty VCMs and are threatened.