‘Let shadings dry’ to avoid ballot smudge, voters told


A Commission on Elections (Comelec) official here on Friday advised those who will cast their votes on May 9 to “let their shadings dry” before feeding their ballots to the vote-counting machine (VCM) to prevent smudging.

Comelec-Antique Supervisor Wil Arceño clarified that although the Comelec has instructed the use of their marking pen during Election Day, it is also acceptable if voters opt to use their own pen.

Arceño said while a “smudge” would not “affect” or stain other pages, it is still advisable “to let the ink dry to be sure”, noting that the “smudge” would not invalidate the ballot but would “most likely” cause a scanner problem.

He made the advice during a virtual press conference held after the final testing and sealing (FTS) of VCMs in three towns in Antique went without a hitch.

Arceño said they initially conducted the FTS in four clustered precincts each in the towns of Belison and Libertad, and one clustered precinct in Tibiao.

“There were 10 voters on each clustered precinct that participated in the VCM final testing and sealing,” he said.

The remaining 785 of the 794 VCMs for the province’s 794 clustered precincts will undergo the FTS on May 7.

The FTS is a way of ensuring that the VCMs are functioning well before they are deployed to the clustered precincts for the votes to be properly accounted for and the canvassing to finish early.

“There are, in fact, 14 contingency machines that had already been sent by the Comelec as replacement, just in case there will be VCMs that will not function well,” Arceño said.

Voters are encouraged to come to their respective polling precincts early as doors will open at 6 a.m. and close at 7 p.m.

He said voters are required to wear face masks while the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccination card is not required.

They can bring their cellular phones inside the polling precincts but are not allowed to use them to take pictures, especially of their ballots.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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