Comelec to finish printing BOL plebiscite ballots soon

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THE Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Monday announced it is now targeting to complete printing within the week all of the 2.8 million ballots for the two-part Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) plebiscite.

In a press conference, Comelec Printing Committee Vice Chairman Maria S. Dulcero said they expect the National Printing Office (NPO) to wrap up the printing of the 600,000 ballots and accountable forms for the February 6 plebiscite on January 15 or 16. The first part of the plebiscite is on January 21.

The accountable forms  include certificate of election returns, certificate of canvass and statement votes forms.

“We are almost done [with the ballot printing],” Dulcero said.

Dulcero said they will give the ballots to the Comelec shipping and packing committee as soon as the ballots are verified by the NPO and their reception and verification committee. She said the printed ballots will be distributed to the 28 “contiguous” areas in Lanao del Norte and North Cotobato,” which will participate in the BOL plebiscite.

Last month Comelec Spokesman James B. Jimenez said, they already finished the printing of 2.1 million ballots for the January 21 BOL plebiscite covering the areas within the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), Isabela City and Cotabato City.

Dulcero said they started the distribution of the materials for the January 21 plebiscite on Sunday.

For May elections

THE Comelec, meanwhile, conducted an inspection at the NPO facility in Quezon City on Monday in preparation for the printing of the over 60 million ballots for the May 13, 2019, polls.  Based on their tentative timeline, Dulcero disclosed they hope to start the printing of the ballots and accountable forms for the 2019 midterm elections on January 22, 2019.

“Our completion date for this is on April 30, 2019,” Dulcero said.

Despite the deadline being close to the start of the midterm polls in May, she said they are confident all of the ballots and accountable forms will be completed on time after NPO committed to print a million ballot per day.

Prior to its distribution, she said the 61 million ballots for local voters of the midterm polls will be have to pass through the vote-counting machines for verification.