MANILA — Around 8 in 10 registered voters cast their ballots last May 9, a Commission on Elections official said on Monday, as he sought understanding over glitches that marred the polls.
“Kinakailangan din natin na maalagaan pang mabuti iyong ating mga kababayang boboto. 80.4 [percent] po, For the first time, ganyan kataas ang bilang, pinakamataas na bilang ng botanteng bumoto natin. Dapat handa ang Comelec sa ganoong buhos ng mga kababayan natin na boboto sa araw ng eleksyon,” said poll commissioner George Garcia.
“Maaaring kayo po ay naistorbo, kayo po ay pinagpawisan sa init ng araw. Pasensya na po kayo, sadya po talagang sobrang dami ang gustong bumoto at mabilang ang kanilang boto,” he said in a televised public briefing.
(We need to take better care of our voters. 80.4 percent voted. For the first time, the highest ever. The Comelec should be ready for that volume of people who will vote on election day. You may have been inconvenienced, you may have stayed under the sun. We apologize, there were just to many people who wanted to vote.)
There were nearly 65.75 million registered voters domestically for the Philippines' 2022 national and local elections. Overseas, nearly 1.7 million have registered as absentee voters.
During the 2016 national elections, 81.95 percent of the 54.36 million registered voters cast their ballot, according to the Comelec.
Video courtesy of PTV
On election day, delays and missing voters' names marred the polls in some areas. Hundreds of faulty vote-counting machines (VCMs) also forced some to stay in line for hours or surrender their ballots for batch-feeding, while waiving their right to a voter's receipt.
The Comelec last Friday acceded to the call of President Rodrigo Duterte to investigate the malfunctioning VCMs.
"Siyempre po, ang dapat na solusyon namin dito sa Comelec ay ipaliwanag nang tama ang mga kadahilanan ng kanilang mga agam-agam, kung bakit nagkakaroon sila ng tinatawag na pagdududa," said Garcia.
"Kinakailangan lang din po, sana mapakinggan din naman po iyong panig namin. Wala pong may kagustuhan ng mga pagkasira ng mga makina, wala po naman may gusto na magkakaganiyan-ganiyan o hahaba nang sobrang haba ang mga pila," he added.
(Of course, the solution of the Comelec should be to explain reasons for concerns, why some people have doubts. But we hope they will also listen to our side. No one wanted the machines to bog down, no one wanted that to happen or for the lines to get that long.)
The poll body earlier reported that 915 VCMs had to be replaced on election day, but insisted the number was "not significant."
Over 106,000 VCMs were deployed in clustered precincts nationwide.