The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has agreed with Vice President Leni Robredo that ballots which have at least 25 percent shaded ovals should be considered as valid during the ongoing manual recount of the 2016 vice presidential polls.
In a comment, the Comelec informed the Supreme Court (SC), sitting as Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET), that during the 2016 elections the poll body set the threshold at 25 percent.
“As part of its mandate in the administration of elections, in the 09 May 2016 National and Local Elections, the COMELEC generally instructed the voters to fully shade the ovals of the ballots, however, it has set the shading threshold of the oval at about 25% to guarantee that the votes are not wasted due to inadequate shading or that no accidental or unintended small marks are counted as votes,” the Comelec explained.
The poll body told the PET this is indicated in its Random Manual Audit Guide (RMA) on Appreciation of Markings.
“In fact, the RMA Guide is what guides the COMELEC’s recount and revision process, in all protest cases relative to the 09 May 2016 National and Local Elections filed with and pending before the COMELEC, all of which are to be resolved in the exercise of its original or appelate jurisdiction,” it said.
The PET is currently conducting a manual recount based on the election protest of former Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. he claims he should have won the vice presidential race.
However, the PET set the threshold of valid ballots at 50 percent.
Because of this, Robredo asked the PET to set the threshold at 25 percent as she expressed fears a huge chunk of voters would get disenfranchised.