The ballots discovered in Amadeo, Cavite reportedly bore markings that they were used in Tondo, Manila, but the Commission on Elections clarified they were not

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) denied on Sunday, May 22, that the ballots found in a vacant lot in Amadeo, Cavite were official ballots used in the May 9 national and local elections.

Comelec Commissioner George Garcia told dzMM Teleradyo that what appeared in pictures and video circulating online were training ballots used during the final testing and sealing (FTS) of vote counting machines (VCMs).

Under Comelec protocol, the FTS is done in polling precincts a few days before election day. For each precinct, 10 training ballots are fed into the VCM to ensure that the machine is working.

The ballots discovered in Amadeo reportedly bore markings that they were used in Tondo, Manila, where the FTS was held either on May 4 or 5.

Although certain that these were training ballots, Garcia said the Comelec is still conducting an investigation on the matter because they were not supposed to be brought by F2 Logistics, the contractor hired to transport election equipment, to Cavite.

“We have already done an initial investigation and called the election officer in Manila,” he said, noting that the training ballots should have been in the possession of teachers who served in electoral boards.

Garcia said training ballots are not collected by the Comelec since these are done too close to election day.

As for the official ballots for Manila, these are properly accounted for and kept at the City Treasurer’s Office.

Had a ballot box been missing, the Treasurer’s Office would have asked the electoral board and filed a report.

But Garcia said no such report has been filed before the Comelec.

Source: One News
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