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VCM rejects Piñol’s filled-up ballot; he gets another one

/ 03:47 PM May 13, 2019

Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol shows his finger with indelible ink after waiting for five hours to vote at the Paco Elementary School in Kidapawan City in Cotabato province. Photo by Williamor Magbabua

COTABATO CITY -– The Vote Counting Machine (VCM) rejected the official ballot of Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol in his polling precinct in Paco Elementary School in Kidapawan City on Monday.

Piñol said the VCM repeatedly rejected his filled-up ballot, so he asked the three-man electoral board to examine “if I did anything wrong with my ballot to warrant rejection.”

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After a thorough inspection of Piñol’s ballot, the electoral board chair noticed that there was a ball pen marking on the edge of the ballot.

The chair admitted that in her haste, she may have accidentally caused the marking, Piñol said.

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By a unanimous decision, the board decided to give Piñol a new ballot, which the machine accepted.

“I fought for my right to vote especially so since my daughter and three siblings are involved in the race and mainly because I believe that a lifeless machine could not prevent me from exercising my Constitutional right to vote,” Piñol said.

Piñol queued for about five hours since 7:30 a.m. before he was able to cast his votes.

Voting was slow in Kidapawan because the shading pens sent by the Commission on Elections for the ballots were not accepted by the VCMs.

The election office in the city had to use old shading pens from the 2016 elections but they could only provide six pens per precinct, slowing down the process.

Kidapawan has only 660 special pens used in 110 clustered precincts. With a report from Villiamor A. Magbanua  (Editor: Leti Z. Boniol)

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TAGS: #VotePH2019, ballot, elections 2019, Emmanuel Piñol, Kidapawan City, VCM, vote counting machine
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