Comelec: Distribution of sample ballots with names of bets is illegal
Giving away sample ballots with the names of real candidates on election day is illegal as it was considered a form of campaigning, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) warned on Monday.
Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez said it does not matter whether or not the distribution of such ballots happened close to or far away from polling precincts.
— Inquirer Metro (@InqMetro) May 14, 2018
“Ilegal ang sample ballots. It doesn’t matter kung gaano kalayo o kalapit (ang pamimigay sa polling precinct),” Jimenez told reporters in a press briefing.
The Comelec official stressed that sample ballots should either be empty or featuring names of fake candidates.
Campaigning is prohibited on election day. Giving away sample ballots featuring names of specific candidates will be considered campaigning, therefore a violation.
really want to help? make sure your sample ballots use dummy names and do not prominently feature your candidates.
— James Jimenez (@jabjimenez) May 13, 2018
“Gawin niyong blangko o dummy (‘yung sample ballot). Kung magbibigay ka ng material, maglalagay ka ng kandidato mo, sinong niloloko mo na sample ballot iyon?” he pointed out.
Jimenez said candidates whose names appear on sample ballots being distributed will not be automatically disqualified.
“Hindi automatic ang disqualification. You can report them, and we can set the process to determine who was really spreading (the sample ballots),” Jimenez said.
“We want to get these people to stop, and we will determine accountability,” he said.
Jimenez explained that candidates may only claim sabotage allegedly perpetrated by his or her opponents as an excuse to be absolved from the election offense. /muf
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