Comelec sets 25% ballot-shading threshold

MANILA Less than eight months before the May 19, 2019 elections, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) has set the shading of ballots at 25 percent to fix the shading threshold on disputes in automated elections system (AES).

In Comelec Resolution No. 10419 promulgated on Sept. 5, 2018, the poll body approved to fix the 25 percent threshold in the shading of the ballots.

Now, therefore, the Commission on Elections, pursuant to the powers vested in it by the Constitution, the Omnibus Election Code, and other election laws, resolves, as it hereby resolved, to set the threshold for the shading of the ballots at 25% for the purposes of the May 13, 2019 national and local elections and subsequent elections thereafter, the order said.

The setting of the threshold, the poll body said, is to guarantee that the votes are not wasted due to inadequate shading or that no accidental or unintended small marks are counted as votes, calibrated the automated voter counting system to read as valid votes all marks that cover at least 25% (when seen by the naked eyes) of the oval for each candidate based in the chosen technology - optical scanning technology - which appreciates votes or non-votes according to how it is configured to that of at least about 25% (when seen by the naked eye) of the oval for each candidate.

Republic Act. No. 9369, granted the Comelec the power to choose an appropriate technology in elections which would necessarily include the issue on deciding on how votes can be read and appreciated by the said technology.

The poll body will be utilizing over 97,000 vote counting machines (VCMs) in next year's elections. The machines were used in the 2016 national and local polls.

It acquired a total of 97,517 VCM units for PHP2.1 billion after exercising the option-to-purchase in its 2016 lease contract with Smartmatic International, the automated elections' service provider since the 2010.

The 25 percent threshold was also used in the 2016 elections. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency