Three-Million Null Votes

Manila Bulletin, June 6, 2010 | Go to article overview

Three-Million Null Votes


Letter C of Article IX of our Constitution gives special powers to the Comelec. Pertinent to this discussion is: Section 2) "The Commission on Elections shall have the following powers and functions: 1) Enforce and administer all laws and regulations relative to the conduct of an election, plebiscite, initiative, referendum and recall. 2) Exercise exclusive original jurisdiction over all contests relating to elections, returns, and qualifications of all elective regional, provincial and city officials, and appelate jurisdiction over all contests involving municipal officials xxx etc. 3) Decide, except those involving the right to vote, all questions affecting elections, including determination xxx etc. Section 5) speaks about regulation of public utilities or those enjoying franchises and permits, etc. in order to ensure equal opportunity, time and space and the right to reply, including reasonable equal rates, therefore, for public information campaigns and forums among candidates in connection with the objective of holding free, orderly, honest, peaceful, and credible elections. The Comelec has other powers, duties etc. that are enumerated in Section 11.

Now with that objective in mind, the Comelec should have an open mind and a positive attitude when it deals with complaints of those which could be generally summarized as instances where the law and the safeguards have not been complied with, the strange happenings in the provinces, towns, and cities. For example, the extraordinary number of ballots that are generally denominated as "NULLs" which are estimated to be between 2.6 to 3 million votes. Nulls are votes which, for some reason, were not counted by the PCOS either because the voters: 1) Did not vote for a candidate 2) They over voted beyond the number allowed for the position. 3) Failure for some reason of the PCOS scanner to read the ballots. Three-million Null votes are about ten percent of the number of votes that were counted. It's therefore imperative that the Comelec will open up as many ballot boxes as needed in all regions of the Philippines in order to determine the reason or reasons why such a big number of votes exist.

A random survey of about 1,140 precincts is not sufficient.

If after the wide ranging opening of ballot boxes it is found that the fault lies also with the PCOS machines, such failure, (if memory serves) should not exceed .

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