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C-CIMPEL: ‘Good enough’ polls

High 82.5% voter turnout in Cebu
/ 07:34 AM May 19, 2013

It suddenly rained on election day. Many voters had to wait in line for up to three hours to cast their ballots.

Despite the downpour in Metro Cebu and long lines at polling precincts, the May 13, 2013 election drew even more voters than the last presidential election.

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Voter turnout in Cebu province reached 82.5 percent or higher than the 77 percent record in the 2010 polls, said Temie Lambino, regional director of the Commission on Elections (Comelec).

Citizens were eager to fill their ballots and choose their leaders.

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For Central Visayas, the turnout was 80 percent to 85 percent compared to less than 80 percent in the 2010 presidential election where local and national officials were also voted on.

The most publicized problem, defective compact flash cards of the computerized voting system, resulted in delays in canvassing in the Cebu city and provincial boards which wrapped up after four to five days.

About 30 cards out of 5,000 memory cards or .5 percent malfunctioned and had to be replaced, Lambino said.

conduct of elections

On the whole, the conduct of the election was “very successful” in Central Visayas, said Lambino, and security plans to curb “guns, goons and gold” were carried out.

“It goes to show that our briefings and conferences with law enforcement agencies were successful,” he said.

Cebu citizen watchdog group C-Cimpel executive director Marilu Chiongbian said the 2013 election was “good enough”.

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As of 5:30 p.m. yesterday, C-Cimpel retrieved 90 percent of election returns from the towns and cities of Cebu, to be completed by today. These documents will be sent to the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) in Manila.

No violence was reported by volunteers since Monday. While there were initial concerns about vote-buying, she said no one was caught in the act.

Despite glitches in the memory cards of the Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines, Chiongbian said volunteers performed well.

“We have more empowered and dedicated volunteers who gave their time, and I admire them for that,” she said.

Help desks and hotlines handled familiar concerns: voters who couldn’t find their names in precincts, disorderly lines of voters, long waits in line.

The parish-based C-Cimpel will again conduct a value formation campaign for voters and candidates for the next barangay elections in October. /Reporter Ador Mayol and Correspondent Michelle Joy I. Padayhag

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