There is no need for voters to disenfranchise themselves in the party-list elections just to make sure their votes for president are counted.
CLAIM: Votes for Robredo will be invalidated by voting for a party-list group as ballot ovals for the latter are directly behind her name
Messages circulating in online chat groups falsely claim that votes for presidential candidate Leni Robredo will be invalidated by voting for a party-list group as ballot ovals for the latter are directly behind her name.
These messages also gave the wrong advice that it would be better not to vote for a party-list group so as not to affect the votes for Robredo, who is No. 10 on the ballot.
First, the instructions for voting on the ballot itself are clear: voters may shade the ovals corresponding to their choice using the marking pen provided. We reproduce the instructions below:
“INSTRUCTIONS FOR VOTING
(1) Completely blacken the inside of the circle beside the name of the desired candidate.
(2) Use only the marking pen provided for blackening the circles.
(3) Do not blacken more circles than what is intended.”
A check on the bid document for the 2022 elections showed that the Precinct-Based Optical Mark Reader (OMR) for the Vote Counting Machine (VCM) to be used on May 9 “shall be able to recognize ink marks on the ballot and count the corresponding votes accurately.”
Moreover, the OMR/OpScan “shall provide the voter a system of verification (display in the screen and voter receipt) to find out whether or not the machine has registered his choice.”
The VCM manufacturer, Smartmatic, states on its website that “Ballots can be inserted into the Precinct Scanner in any orientation, and both sides can be read simultaneously, optimizing the voting and counting processes.”
There is therefore no need for voters to disenfranchise themselves in the party-list elections just to make sure their votes for president are counted.
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