Ballots for overseas voting nearly complete –Comelec
The printing of the official ballots that will be used for overseas absentee voting was almost complete as of early Friday night, according to the Commission on Elections (Comelec).
In a phone interview with GMA News Online, lawyer Genevieve Guevarra, head of the poll body's printing committee, said at least 972,000 official ballots had been printed as of 7 p.m., 12 hours since printing began around 5 p.m. Thursday.
She added that they are looking to finish the ballots for 1,189,350 registered overseas absentee voters who will be voting through the automated system.
Guevarra said printing has been running smoothly, as well as work at the ballot verification station where each ballot passes through a vote-counting machine to make sure it can be read.
"Wala pa naman po[ng problema], as reported," she added. "Hopefully po matapos namin tonight."
In a separate interview aired on 24 Oras, Guevarra e said the VCMs have not rejected any ballot so far.
"'Yung mga na-experience nu'ng 2013, like 'yung mga nare-reject, sana ma-minimize, if not totally eradicated this 2016 elections," she said.
After ballots for overseas absentee voting, the poll body -- along with the National Printing Office -- will then produce ballots for the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).
Guevarra told GMA News Online that ballot faces for the ARMM are already at the NPO headquarters.
Comelec is scheduled to start sending out ballots for overseas voting on April 5. The month-long voting period for registered absentee voters begins on April 9.
Nearly 25 million ballots for the May polls need to be printed by April 25.
Earlier, Comelec chair Andres Bautista said he is confident that they will meet the deadline given that the ballots for local polls -- which make up for majority of what needs to be printed -- are shorter compared to previous elections.
Aside from the ballots the 56.7 million ballots for automated polls, the Comelec will print 223,611 pieces for manual elections, to be used by local absentee voters and select areas abroad.
Some 700 workers are divided into two 12-hour shifts at NPO, where operations run 24 hours a day, seven days a week. —KBK, GMA News