News in Pictures: Machine and Manual Counts Did Not Tally in Cembo Poll Precinct

Text and photos by TUDLA PRODUCTIONS

MANILA — On Monday, Machine and manual count results did not tally in the clustered precincts in Cembo Elementary School for the mayoralty post and the Sangguniang Panlunsod.

In Precinct 247, the election returns (ERs) show that only Butz Aquino and Win Genuino got 1 and 4 votes respectively. In the manual count, the results were: 1 vote Butz Aquino, 2 votes Junjun Binay, 4 votes Erwin Genuino and 2 votes Ernesto Mercado.

Watchers and Board of Election Inspectors (BEI) try to determine whether the discrepancy was due to incorrect shading. Some BEI propose that it might be due to incorrect shading that the ballots were not counted but watchers from Task Force Pollwatch and Project 30-30 inquired and counterposed that since the ballots were accepted when it was fed to the PCOS, the PCOS should have been able to read the ballots and will also be able to tally the votes in them. Some watchers also proposed that it might be because the pen marks bled softly to the other face of the paper, that’s why the PCOS might have gotten confused in the tallying. Some also propose that this might only be happening today since it is only ‘testing’.

Watchers and BEI check the shading in the ballots but there appears no pattern to determine that shading was the culprit. In one instance, votes counted for Congressional candidate Ernesto Aspillaga were overly shaded in some ballots but votes for him in the machine and manual count matched. There were also no gross mistakes in the shading observed. There were no dots, X or check mark or half-shaded oblongs.

The BEI asked the watchers to report this discrepancy to their principals and to the COMELEC. The matter is out of the hands of the BEI. And despite the discrepancy, the PCOS were sealed and sent to the Audiovisual room of the polling place where it will stay until election day. (

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