By Leslie Ann Aquino
To save public funds and government resources, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) will be using the ballots printed for the October 23, 2017 barangay [village] and Sangguniang Kabataan [youth] polls in the May 14 exercise.
The Comelec explained that the Omnibus Election Code does not prescribe the form and contents of the official ballots nor does it require that the date of the election be specified.
Based on Resolution No. 10248, voters in the National Capital Region (NCR), Luzon and Visayas Regions will be using the 59,578,346 official ballots which were printed from August 9 to September 30, 2017.
The Comelec said new and additional ballots, accountable and non-accountable forms will also be printed for those who registered from November 6 to 30, 2017.
“There were 843,588 voter applicants but the Election Registration Boards (ERBs) are yet to verify, certify and seal the List of Voters on February 7, 2018,” said the poll body.
And so to avoid confusion, the Comelec said new ballots will also bear October 23, 2017 as the date of the elections.
“However, the ballots, accountable and non-accountable forms that will be printed for the Mindanao Regions will bear May 14, 2018 as the date of the elections,” the Comelec said.
To note, no official ballots and other forms were printed for the entirety of Mindanao following the postponement of the elections there, as per Comelec resolution EM No. 17-003 promulgated on September 5, 2017.