Ballot printing on track–Comelec
The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has assured the public it is still on track with the timetable for the printing of ballots for the 2016 elections despite problems caused by the omission of Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago’s political party.
Comelec Chair Andres Bautista said the National Printing Office (NPO) was to have started printing over one million ballots for Overseas Absentee Voting (OAV) when the ballot form was corrected.
Asked who was responsible for the omission of Santiago’s party, Bautista said, “It’s the supplier of the ballot faces,” referring to Smartmatic International.
April 25 deadline
Bautista refused to say if Smartmatic would be held accountable for the delay in printing.
“I want to focus first on making sure that things are done. Fault-finding will lead us nowhere. What’s important is we have solutions,” Bautista said.
He said the April 25 deadline for the printing of the 56,772,230 ballots to be used in the elections was achievable.
The printing was temporarily stopped on Wednesday when the name of Santiago’s political party—People’s Reform Party—was found missing after the NPO had printed 39 pieces of the ballot.
The ballots were corrected at the central server of the Comelec in Sta. Rosa, Laguna, before printing was resumed.
The Comelec is to print over 57 million ballots—54 million for the local elections, another million for the OAV polls, and the rest for demonstration of the vote counting machines and the final testing and sealing of machines.