MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) said that the distribution of sample ballots during the May 14, 2018 barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections is considered campaigning and thus illegal.
“Illegal po iyan. [That is] electioneering, bawal mamigay ng campaign materials on election day (giving campaign materials are not allowed on election day),” said Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez in a press briefing on Monday, May 14.
It doesn’t matter how far or near the polling places these sample ballots were handed out, he added.
Instead of using such sample ballots as guides when voting in precincts, Jimenez urged voters to write their own “kodigos” instead on blank pieces of paper.
There have been reports of people handing out sample ballots on Monday, with names of particular candidates printed on it.
Campaigning is banned on May 13, the eve of the elections, and May 14, election day.
“Kung magbibigay ka ng material, may nakalagay, prominente, pangalan ng kandidato mo, sinong niloloko mo na sample ballot iyon? Campaign material iyon,” Jimenez said.
(If you hand out materials with the name of the candidate prominently displayed, who are you fooling that it’s a sample ballot? Those are campaign materials.)
Erring candidates, however, would not automatically be disqualified just yet.
“You can report them, and the we can set the process in motion of discovering who is actually responsible,” explained Jimenez. – Rappler.com