THE COMMISSION on Elections (Comelec) on Wednesday deleted the ballot face information used for the May 9 elections from its database at the National Printing Office (NPO).
“From here, we need to pull out of the National Printing Office (NPO) because Comelec’s job here has finished,” Comelec Director for Education and Information James B. Jimenez said in the live-streamed event.
Comelec invited representatives of political parties, citizens’ arm groups, members of the media, and other stakeholders to observe the event.
Mr. Jimenez said the deletion of ballot face information, with a backup copy kept by the Comelec, would allow the NPO’s computers to service other projects.
A total of 67.4 million ballots were printed for this year’s national and local elections, with the NPO producing 1.1 million ballots daily.
Ballot printing finished on April 2, earlier than Comelec’s initial target date of April 25.
Comelec started printing in January but only allowed observers in March, citing risks of coronavirus transmission, which raised questions on transparency.
The election body then granted the request of lawyer Romulo B. Macalintal to examine randomly selected ballots in the presence of observers to ensure the security of the printing process. — John Victor D. Ordoñez