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DAY 18: VOTING QUIET BUT SOCIAL MEDIA ABUZZ WITH CHEATING CLAIM

26 April 2016

The voter who claims to have been cheated
More than 500 people took advantage of the fine weather today, Apr 26, to cast their ballots at Bayanihan Center in Kennedy Town for the month-long overseas voting for the Philippine general elections.
Overseas Filipinos are voting for president, vice president, 12 senators and one partylist for the House of Representatives.
“Everything went on smoothly,” said Consul Charles Macaspac, the officer-of-the-day in the month-long overseas voting.
However, there were more people whose registration were deactivated for failing to vote in two consecutive elections, or who registered but whose names did not show up in the list provided by the Commission on Elections.
The election officials have yet to hear from the Comelec regarding their request for additional vote counting machines after another one broke down last Saturday.
Four VCMs have broken down so far, but three have been replaced by spare machines sent by Comelec in the first week of voting.
The Consulate is asking for at least four more spares, with about two more weeks to go before polling ends on May 9.
But amid the quiet day at Bayanihan was a big fuss on social media over a cheating claim by a supporter of presidential candidate Rodrigo Duterte.
The supporter who cast her ballot on Apr 17, returned to Bayanihan last Sunday, Apr 24, to complain about an SBEI (special board of election inspectors) who allegedly threatened to file a case against her for taking a photo of her ballot receipt.
The voter said she took the photo because the receipt did not show the names of her chosen president and vice president.
But according to Consulate officials, the receipt just got crinkled on top so the names overlapped. Taking a photo of the receipt is indeed, a violation of Comelec rules.
After some explaining by Consulate officials in the presence of media representatives and poll watchers, the voter eventually calmed down.
However, a video of her being interviewed by Duterte supporters about the alleged cheating immediately circulated on social media.
By today’s end, a total of 516 people voted, taking to 24,162 the total figure for the 18 days of voting since Apr 9. This represents 26% of the more than 93,000 registered Filipino voters in Hong Kong. – with a report from Vir B. Lumicao


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