Comelec to young SK voters: Don’t doodle on your ballots
Do not write smiley faces, emojis, hearts and hashtags on the ballots.
This was the strict warning of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to voters as prepares to conduct manual voting for the 2018 Barangay (village) and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK or youth council) elections.
In an interview with reporters on Wednesday, Comelec spokesman James Jimenez said voters risk voiding their ballots should they doodle on them while casting their votes.
“Hindi ko naman nilalahat, pero mayroon tayong mga kabataan na mahilig maglagay ng happy faces, hearts at ng kung anu ano pa. Baka ma-invalidate ang balota. Sayang naman,” Jimenez said.
The Comelec official warned that the Board of Election Tellers (BET) may void a ballot just because of doodles as they may misread the name of candidates chosen by the voter.
“We’re advising young voters not to mark ballots in any way, like hashtags, smiley face, hearts. Please avoid it because your ballots may be invalidated,” Jimenez stressed.
“Because it’s a manual election, there are many variables in being able to interpret the ballots, such as legibility of the handwriting and cleanliness of the ballot,” he explained.
But Jimenez admitted that they would not be surprised should there be reports of doodled on ballots on election day because of the manual election’s “novelty.”
“The Comelec’s concern is the novelty of blank paper ballots. To our youth, election means shading the ballots, not writing on a blank ballot. They may feel strange having a blank ballot,” Jimenez said.
Unlike the automated national elections, the Comelec would be using a manual election system for the barangay (village) and SK polls. In a manual voting system, voters write the names of their chosen candidates on paper ballots. /muf