Comelec sees early printing of over 63-M poll ballots



MANILA -- The Commission on Elections (Comelec) is looking at finishing the printing of the over 63 million official ballots to be used in the forthcoming midterm polls ahead of its April 25 deadline.

“Our target is well, the expectation is to complete printing by April 25. It looks like we will be able to complete printing 10 days early. If nothing goes wrong we will be able to finish printing 10 days early,” said Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez in a press briefing on Monday.

He reported that they have already printed close to 20 million ballots.

“We already have as of this morning 19,705,792 ballots. We are now starting printing for Region 8. This represents about 30 percent of the total ballot requirement,” the poll body official added.

He said that they are now printing 1.1 million ballots a day.

“We are now printing at peak production of more than a million per day, 1.1 million per day and the fact that the National Printing Office is scheduled to add another printer then we expect to finish early,” Jimenez added.

A total of 63,662,481 ballots, for local polls a total of 61,843,771 and 1,818,710 ballots for overseas absentee voting (OAV).

Aside from the official ballots, a total of 1,142,063 ballots will also be printed for the Final Testing & Sealing (FTS) to test the vote counting machines (VCMs).

On the other hand, Jimenez has reminded voters on the do’s and dont’s in the forthcoming polls.

He reiterated that the midterm polls will be held on May 13, 2019 and voters will be voting for 12 Senators and one Party-List organization for national positions.

As for local positions, the electorate will be choosing one member of the House of Representatives, one Governor, one Vice-Governor, Provincial Board members, one City/Municipal Mayor, one City/Municipal Vice-Mayor and members of the City/Municipal Council.

“The election is automated. It’s recommended to 100% shade the oval, but the Vote Counting Machine (VCM) will also accept at least 25 percent shading,” he said in his Twitter account, @jabjimenez.

Likewise, the poll body official advised those who will participate in the May midterm polls not to over-vote.

“Ang lahat ng boto sa over-voted position ay ituturing na stray at hindi mabibilang. Allowed ang abstain (walang binoto), at allowed angunder-vote o bumoto ng kulang sa hinihingi. Halimbawa, bumoto ng isang senador, imbes na 12 (All over-voted positions will be considered stray votes and will not be counted. Abstain is allowed and so is under-vote or voting less than the required number. For example, only one senator instead of 12),” he added.

The Comelec official said that taking pictures of the ballots or posing with it in front of the camera are prohibited acts. (PNA)

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