Investigation underway for ER mismatch detected by PPCRV – Comelec

Published May 21, 2022, 11:53 AM

by Dhel Nazario

Four physical election returns (ERs) are being investigated by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) after the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) detected that they do not match with their electronically-transmitted counterparts.

A voter drops her ballot receipt in a box after casting her vote in Legarda Elementary School in Sampaloc, Manila. (Ali Vicoy / MANILA BULLETIN)

In a message to reporters on Saturday, May 21, Acting Spokesperson John Rex C. Laudiangco said that the poll body is waiting for the formal report from the Information Technology Department (ITD).

“Information were already relayed to the COMELEC via PPCRV’s email to the Steering Committee and the IT Department,” he said.

The said ERs were from Masbate, Quezon, and Lapu-Lapu City and were off by “one to two votes”, PPCRV said.

According to Laudiangco, two cases are being seen as ERs that came from the Final Testing and Sealing (FTS) which constitutes three votes, and is not involved in the actual voting itself which led to the discrepancy. He added that there is a second ER which correctly shows the election results.

PPCRV spokesperson Atty. Vann Dela Cruz disclosed that there were also two ERs, separate from the four that encountered a mismatch, which were from the FTS since it only accounted for just 10 votes.

Meanwhile, Laudiangco stated that one case is potentially an error on the part of the Electoral Board wherein they had committed a procedural error and prematurely closed the voting leading to partial transmission, and the partial results in the ER.

“What the EB did, upon realizing their error, is to re zero the machine, batch feed the ballots, and close and transmit later on,” he said.

“The EB on the last case is likewise being investigated given that the ER in the possession of the Election Officer matched with the transmitted ER,” he added.

He clarified, however, that these preliminary assessments and in no way the final results of the investigation and that they will disclose it as soon as it is finished.