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Amidst shipment delays, PH Consulate in NY sends out all ballots

Don Tagala | TFC News New York

Posted at Apr 23 2022 05:33 PM

The Philippine Consulate General in New York (PCGNY) said it will be able to send all remaining ballots to Filipino voters under its jurisdiction this week.

Consul General Elmer Cato announced on Friday night that the consulate has sealed the last election packet containing a ballot, and by Saturday morning, it "would have sent out 100% of ballots for voters in the US Northeast." Cato added that they were able to finish two days ahead of schedule.

The consulate has said that several ballots returned back to the consulate are also available for pick up or re-mailing to the correct address. If registered voters find their names on the list posted on the PCGNY website, their ballot is at the consulate.

"For the returned ballots, we have already uploaded on our website the surnames and initials of those whose ballots have returned. And if they see their names there, send us an email and we can discuss options. Either we mail it back to them in their correct address. Or they can opt to pick it up [at the consulate]," Special Board of Election Inspectors chair Consul Ricarte Abejuela said.

Voters may email with the subject "RTS + (their name)" to be informed of options on how to receive their ballot packet.

Meanwhile, the ballot feeding at the Kalayaan Hall polling center was cut short on Thursday.

As the second batch of ballots for the May 9 Philippine polls were being fed into vote counting machines (VCMs), one ballot got stuck inside a VCM. The issue was easily fixed. However, another ballot got split into two: half of which went into the machine, while the other half was spitted out by the VCM. 

Abejuela told ABS-CBN News that the visibly flimsy ballot could unfortunately not be retrieved and will no longer be counted. While there are two backup VCMS, the consulate decided to suspend ballot feeding until further guidance from the Commission on Elections. The remaining ballots will be fed in the next ballot feeding session on Monday, April 25.

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