Voters protest being barred from feeding own ballots to VCM
SAN FRANCISCO, Agusan del Sur—Confusion marred a voting precinct in Barangay (village) 3 here when several voters protested when they were not allowed to personally feed their shaded ballots to a replacement Vote Counting Machine (VCM).
Ruben Atega, one of those who protested, said the board of election inspectors (BEIs) no longer allowed them to go inside the precinct as they were told that the BEIs will just do it for them.
The voters were earlier told to leave their ballots with the BEIs after a VCM conked out. But when a replacement VCM arrived, the voters were told the BEIs will feed them to the machine.
“This is wrong and a violation of election laws,” Atega said as he and others insisted to go inside Precinct 1A.
Lawyer Alvin Canta, provincial election supervisor, said the BEIs were still following the procedure as long as the voters themselves signed a document allowing the precinct poll officers to feed the shaded ballots from the voters.
The same case also occurred in Barangay Bayugan 2 where a VCM malfunctioned, and the voters were told to just leave their ballots inside while BEIs wait for a replacement VCM.
Meanwhile, four interior floating villages in Talacogon town were without electricity and the precincts there were only using back-up power for VCMs, according to an advisory from the Agusan del Sur Electric Cooperative./rga
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