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Over 21M ballots printed for May 10 polls—Comelec

Posted on: March 26, 2010

Over 21M ballots printed for May 10 polls—Comelec

By Anna Valmero
INQUIRER.net
First Posted 15:52:00 03/22/2010

Filed Under: Eleksyon 2010, Elections

MANILA, Philippines—The Commission on Elections (Comelec) said Monday said that it has printed more than 21 million ballots—almost half of the total ballots needed for the country’s first ever automated polls in May—adding that it is optimistic that it will meet the deadline for printing set on April 25.

“As of March 22 (Monday), the total number of ballots printed are 21,251,948 or near half of the total ballots needed,” said Comelec commissioner Gregorio Larrazabal.

Over the last 24 hours, the National Printing Office has printed 363,140 and 333,640 on the day and night shifts, respectively, the poll official added.

Since the fifth printer arrived during the weekend, Larrazabal noted that the daily turnout of printed ballots would increase and it would enable the agency to produce all 50 million ballots—one per voter—needed for the May 10 national elections.

“The fifth printer already arrived and we expect it to be operational by next week. This would increase printing production and help us meet the April 25 deadline, the day we would also start shipping the ballots to our regional hubs and to municipalities nationwide,” said the official.

The 50 million ballots will have 1,631 different ballot faces, which are configured for use in each municipality, city or district.

“Since the ballots would have the names of the local and national candidates, it is specific for each of the country’s 1,600 municipalities, cities and districts,” said Larrazabal.

Similar to manual elections where voters fill up ballots, voters will still use special paper ballots on May 10 but this time, they will shade ovals opposite the names of local and national candidates, which are alphabetically and numerically arranged on the ballot, to indicate a vote.

For national candidates, the ballots include names of ten presidential bets (of which one person, Vetallano Acosta was declared nuisance candidate), eight for vice president, 61 for senator and 187 for party list groups.

The shaded ovals will be read by the precinct count optical scan machines, which will also print 30 copies of Election Returns and transmit the results to Comelec servers for consolidation.

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