Special polls to be held in Sarangani precinct

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 11 May) – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) will hold a special election for a polling precinct in Maitum town in Sarangani after the voting was cancelled during Monday’s general elections due to misrouted ballots.

Lawyer Duque Kadatuan, Comelec-Sarangani acting supervisor, said a “failure of elections” had been declared at clustered precinct number 03 of the Malalag Central Elementary School due to the absence of official ballots.

“We already submitted a request to our central office for the conduct of a special election there,” he said.

Francisca Josol, Maitum election officer, said the precinct’s board of election inspector and poll clerks discovered the misrouted ballots after it opened for the voting at 6 a.m. last Monday.

She said the delivered ballots were marked for a clustered precinct in Sta. Cruz town in Marinduque.

But she said the assigned vote-counting machine and other election paraphernalia were properly marked for the precinct.

“The machine was okay. Our only problem was the wrongly-delivered ballots,” Josol said.

She said the affected clustered precinct has a total of 667 voters from original precincts 004A, 004B, 005A and 005B.

Josol said they eventually decided to close down the precinct and posted a notice that voting has been cancelled and that they already reported the matter to the Comelec central office.

Kadatuan said they are currently waiting for the schedule of the special election, which will be decided by their central office.

Citing previous cases, he said the special election will immediate be conducted once the official ballots for the precinct arrive.

The official said the provincial board of canvassers will determine whether it could proceed with the proclamation of the winning candidates at the provincial level despite the absence of the votes from the affected precinct.

“For the positions that we deem will no longer be affected, we can proceed with the proclamation. But we have to get the approval of the regional election director for that,” he added.