To fast-track the proclamation of winning candidates, the Commission on Elections lowered the “voter threshold” in five areas.
The election boards (EB) in Mandaluyong were among those allowed by the Comelec to be able to proclaim its mayor, vice mayor and Representatives (First District and Second District) despite its Election Returns (ER) still not reaching 100 percent.
Also allowed to have a lower voter threshold are EBs in Naic in Cavite for the position of vice mayor; Rodriguez, Montalaban in Rizal for the position of mayor; Muntinlupa City for the position of House of Representatives, mayor and vice mayor; and Taguig City got the positions of House of Representative (First District), mayor, vice mayor.
The EBs in two more areas currently have pending applications in the Comelec main office to have a lower voter threshold.
These are Gandara in Samar for the positions of mayor, vice mayor, and Sangguniang Kabataan; and Buldon in Maguindanao.
Comelec said both applications are still pending until the concerned EBs can submit the necessary documentary requirements.
Comelec Commissioner George M. Garcia explained that the lowering of threshold is only allowed for candidates that have already secured enough votes to win against opposing candidates even with the incomplete transmission of ERs as stated in Comelec Resolution No. 10731.
“This means the candidate has enough lead to ensure a win even if the untransmitted votes are given to the opponents,” Garcia explained in a press conference on Wednesday.
Acting Comelec spokesmn John Rex C. Laudiangco said another safeguard to prevent the possible abuse of the lowering of voter threshold is it should be authorized by the Comelec main office as well as the Automated Election System.
“The Board of Canvassers cannot just lower the threshold for the purpose of transmitting. There are inherent safeguards in our system,” Laudiangco said.
He also assured the public that untransmitted votes will still be counted in the final tally of votes by Comelec.
“We have protocols, so no votes will be left unaccounted for. No voters will be disenfranchised. That is what we can assure you,” Laudiangco said.