South Cot polls delayed by lack of indelible ink

Reynaldo Gagno, acting city election officer, said the Commission on Elections (Comelec) central office failed to deliver enough bottles of indelible ink needed by some 380 polling precincts in the city's 27 barangays.

"Some precincts had to share indelible just to make sure that the voting will go on," Gagno told reporters this morning.

He said they earlier sent a request to the Comelec central office for additional allocation of indelible ink but the shipment that arrived Sunday was short for their requirement.

Gagno did not say how many bottles of indelible ink they lacked but stressed that most of the 32 voting centers reported such problem.

Aside from Koronadal,  the Surallah election office also reported a shortage of indelible ink in several polling centers in the area.

The problem reportedly caused the delay in the opening of voting centers and polling precincts for at least an hour in several remote areas in this city, Surallah and Tupi towns.

Aside from shortage of election materials, some members of the board of election inspectors failed to arrive on time at their assigned polling centers due to problems on transportation. 

But Lawyer Lilian Radam, acting South Cotabato election supervisor, said the conduct of the polls proceeded normally in most parts of the province despite the lack of election materials.

"We solved the problem by reallocating the available materials," she said.

Gagno said they encountered anew numerous cases of missing names of voters but pointed out that they covered mainly voters whose names were deactivated by the Comelec due to their failure to cast their votes in the past two elections.

He said there were some cases where regular voters failed to locate their names but most of these were resolved early through the assistance of volunteers from the National Movement for Free Elections (Namfrel) manning the voters assistance centers set up in each of the voting centers in the city.(Allen V. Estabillo/MindaNews)