‘Willing to wait’: Voters hold on to their ballots until faulty VCMs get fixed

May 10, 2022 - 12:37 AM
Voters in 2022
Lines in Pinyahan Elementary School as voters experience sweltering heat and malfunctions of vote-counting machines on May 9, 2022. (Philstar.com/Jazmin Tabuena)

Some voters earlier stood their ground and chose to wait for faulty vote-counting machines (VCM) to get fixed instead of leaving their ballots to be processed.

Social media was earlier filled with reports that some VCMs encountered technical issues in the first few hours of Election Day, on May 9.

Commission on Elections director James Jimenez said on Twitter that voters have to options for this situation—to either leave their ballots in their respective precincts to be processed later or wait until the VCMs get fixed.

Jimenez said this in response to a Twitter user who made a query about this topic.

“Dalawang options (niyo). Bumoto at iwan ang balota, or maghintay hanggang pwede na uli magamit ang makina,” he said.

These options are part of the poll body’s contingency procedures in case of faulty election paraphernalia and equipment.

READ: What voters should expect when vote counting machines malfunction

Some Filipinos were not pleased with the option to leave their ballots, citing fears of ballot tampering and supposed cheating.

This prompted the phrase “DO NOT LEAVE YOUR BALLOTS” to trend on Twitter Philippines on Monday morning.

READ: Appeals to safeguard ballots as voters report faulty VCMs on elections day 

Some voters did choose to wait for hours until the machines get fixed.

They tweeted, some with photos, about their decision to hold on to their accomplished ballots until the VCMs get fixed.

“I get teary-eyed every time we’re asked if we’re willing to wait (since 8:30 AM di na gumagana VCM namin) and people here shout ‘YES!’ huhu thank you for protecting your votes,” one voter said.

“Guys we are not leaving. We will wait for the VCM to be able to read our votes. We do not know each other but the people in this classroom are all united. Ready to wait even if it takes all day,” another voter tweeted.

Some groups of voters even waited beyond the 7 p.m. voting cut-off.

Philstar.com reported that a group of voters at the Northview Clubhouse precinct in Quezon City have yet to cast their votes as of 10:46 pm.

The VCMs in their precinct malfunctioned as early as 6 a.m., the start of the voting period.

Based on reports, Comelec recorded some 1,800 VCMs across the country that encountered technical difficulties earlier.

These issues, however, have reportedly been resolved.