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DAY 19: Voting ‘mirage’ livens up dull day

28 April 2016

HK Police are on hand to keep the peace.
A little drama at the voting precinct provided some excitement on Apr 27, on an otherwise dull day at Bayanihan Centre, where only 466 came to cast their ballots in the ongoing 2016 Philippine general elections.
The day’s votes nudged up the total count to 24,628 after 19 days of the month-long balloting to elect a new president, vice-president, 12 senators and one partylist. The total translates to a 24.8% turnout from 93,000 registered voters.
A voter in Room 603 roused members of the Special Board of Election Inspectors when she raised a howl over why the names printed on her tear-off ballot receipt were not those of the candidates that she had marked on her ballot.
Vice Consul Alex Vallespin, head of the election board that conducts the voting in Hong Kong, rushed to the room when the issue was relayed to him.
“We told the voter that looked impossible, but we asked her to file a complaint so that we would send it to the Comelec,” Vallespin told The SUN in a telephone interview.
He said the voter declined to fill out a pro forma affidavit stating her complaint.
Vallespin said SBEIs were supplied the affidavit forms starting this week so that voters who complain about what they perceive as cheating in the precincts can file a formal complaint that would be investigated by the Commission on Elections.
“It seems some people are seeing mirages,” a puzzled Vallespin said of some voters’ claims about mismatched ballots and receipt printouts.
“I can’t still make out how such things happen,” he said.
He said he was doing a report to the Comelec about the various voter complaints relating to the vote counting machines installed in the polling precincts.
Vallespin said so far there was only one voter who filed an affidavit on Tuesday, complaining that her receipt showed more than the 10 senatorial candidates she had picked.
Two spare vote counting machines shipped by Comelec would be delivered to Bayanihan on April 28, Vallespin said. He requested for four of these machines after four spares that the poll body sent to Hong Kong earlier were used to replace broken machines.
Still, Vallespin was amazed that despite only nine vote counting machines operating, the election at Bayanihan has not been disrupted. – Vir B. Lumicao

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