Alleged ballot, poll receipt mismatch ‘not necessarily sign of cheating’: Comelec

Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 13 2019 05:55 PM | Updated as of May 13 2019 06:20 PM

A voter checks the ballot receipt after voting at San Antonio National High School in Makati City on Monday. Fernando G. Sepe Jr., ABS-CBN News

MANILA - Alleged mismatches between names shaded on ballots and those that appeared on election receipts do not necessarily mean that voters were cheated by the automated system, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) said on Monday.

The machine could have read “hesitation marks” and smudges from dirty hands as votes, Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez told ABS-CBN News.

“This [alleged discrepancy] does not necessarily mean na may pandarayang nagaganap. It just emphasizes the need for a clean ballot, make sure ingatan ang ballota,” he said.

Misusing the marking pen could also lead to inadvertently shading additional ovals on the ballot, the Comelec spokesperson said.

“Gaano ba siya kalalim magmark? Kasi I’ve seen the marking pens and if you touch it like that [lightly], it’s not gonna bleed,” he said.

“There is a danger na baka naman talaga nag-inadvertent na marking sila sa other side,” he said.

Jimenez said the Comelec had replaced all faulty marking pens that bled through the ballot before election day.

“From the bleeding, I have yet to see an actual problem if the marker was used properly,” he said.

Voters who complained that there were discrepancies between their ballots and election receipts would not be allowed to re-cast their votes unless they prove their claim through a recount, Jimenez said.

“We’d like to think that almost everyone always tells the truth, but there is ample room for wrong impressions, for bad memory, et cetera,” he said.

“There is really no way to tell right off the bat kung nagsasabi siya ng totoo,” he said.