Comelec urged: Issue rules on random sampling; address matters on defective ballots | Inquirer News

Comelec urged: Issue rules on random sampling; address matters on defective ballots

By: - Reporter / @zacariansINQ
/ 05:15 PM March 23, 2022
An election lawyer called on the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to issue guidelines over the “random sampling” of ballots set to be conducted on Thursday, and to address concerns over the burning of "defective ballots."

Veteran election lawyer Romulo Macalintal. FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — An election lawyer called on the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to issue guidelines over the “random sampling” of ballots set to be conducted on Thursday, and to address concerns over the burning of “defective ballots.”

Atty. Romulo Macalintal, election law expert, suggested the random sampling of the ballots, which were printed without the presence of accredited observers.

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“We should be properly notified of the conduct of the said random sampling and the guidelines thereof,” said Macalintal in a letter addressed to Comelec En Banc.

Meanwhile, regarding the 106,000 “defective” ballots to be burned by Comelec, Macalintal said that before burning the ballots, the Comelec should first address existing concerns: “like how many rolls of ballot paper were actually purchased by the Comelec for the May 2022 elections.”

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Per the bidding invitation of the Comelec for suppliers of the ballot paper, “a total of 2,680 rolls of ballot papers were opened for bidding,” said Macalintal.

Because of this, he asked the Comelec for an inventory of these ballot papers as to “how many rolls of ballot paper was actually purchased by the Comelec; how many official ballots could be printed per roll; how many kilos of said ballot paper were used in printing the ‘defective ballots’ and how many of said ballot paper was used to print the good ballots and the balance of the unused ballot paper.”

This is needed “for the sake of transparency and before the said defective ballots are burned,” said Macalintal.

He likewise asked the Comelec “if there were unused ballot paper in the May 2019 elections and if the same were used for purposes of the May 2022 elections; and, if so, if these unused ballot papers for the May 2019 polls were used in printing some official ballots for the May 2022 elections.”

During a briefing before the House committee on suffrage and electoral reforms on Monday, Newly appointed Comelec Commissioner George Garcia said that as of March 21, a total of 105,853 ballots were considered defective.

He then explained that the poll body had so far printed 55,579,298 ballots or 82.4 percent of the total ballots needed for this year’s elections.

Garcia said they should be able to print 67,432,616 ballots for the May 9 polls.

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RELATED STORIES:

Bets raise concerns over Comelec ballot printing 

Party reps barred from seeing early ballot printing 

Comelec should stop ballot printing until it gets SC clarification — Macalintal 

JPV
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TAGS: #VotePH2022, 2022 candidates, Comelec ballot printing, Romulo Macalintal
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