Comelec eyes reuse of printed ballots
With Congress and President Rodrigo Duterte likely to pass and approve the bill postponing the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections to next year, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) yesterday said it was looking into the possibility of reusing some 29 million official ballots that the agency had already printed.
Comelec Chair Andres Bautista said the poll body might use stickers or correction fluid to change the date on the ballots, or just leave the date as is and just pass a resolution allowing it.
“One of the options is to put sticker (on the ballots), which could entail additional expenses. Or we can pass a resolution stating that these ballots can be used to the date of elections as to whenever they will be reset. It will be up to Comelec en banc to decide at the right time,” he told reporters.
Section 181 of the Omnibus Election Code provides that the official ballots shall “bear at the top on the middle portion thereof the coat of arms of the Republic of the Philippines, the words ‘Official Ballot,’ the name of the city or the municipality and province in which the election is held, the date of the election.”
Last Wednesday, Comelec said it had already printed a total of 27,950,855 barangay and SK ballots out of the 59,548,410 ballots needed to be printed. The ballots contain the original date of the elections—October 23, 2017.
It was also on Wednesday that the Senate passed the bill postponing the polls on third and final reading. On Sept. 11, the House of Representatives also approved a similar bill.
President Duterte earlier certified the postponement bill as urgent. Malacañang asked Congress to postpone the elections, saying the government needed more time to weed out barangay officials suspected of involvement in illegal drug activities.