Thursday, September 10, 2009

Omnibus Election Code - Article XVI

Article XVI


SEC. 181.  Official ballots. - Ballots for national and local offices shall be of uniform size and color and shall be provided at public expense.  They shall be printed on paper with watermarks or other marks that will readily distinguish the ballot paper from ordinary paper.  Each ballot shall be in the shape of a strip with stub and detachable coupon containing the serial number of the ballot, and a space for the thumb mark of the voter on the detachable coupon.  It shall bear at the top on the middle portion thereof the coat of arms of the Republic of the Philippines, the words "Official Ballot," the name of the city or the municipality and province in which the election is held, the date of the election, and the following notice: "Fill out this ballot secretly inside the voting booth.  Do not put any distinctive mark on any part of this ballot."

The ballot shall also contain the names of all the offices to be voted for in the election, allowing opposite the name of each office, sufficient space or spaces with horizontal lines where the voter may write the name of names of the individual candidates voted for by him.

There shall not be anything on the reverse side of the ballot.

Ballots in cities and municipalities where Arabic is of general use shall have each of the titles of offices to be voted printed in Arabic in addition to and immediately below the English title.

Notwithstanding the preceding provisions of this section, the Commission is hereby empowered to prescribe a different form of ballot to facilitate voting by illiterate voters and to use or adopt the latest technological and electronic devices as authorized under paragraph (i) of Section 52 hereof.

SEC. 182.  Emergency ballots. - No ballots other than the official ballots shall be used or counted, except in the event of failure to receive the official ballots on time, or where there are no sufficient ballots for all registered voters or where they are destroyed at such time as shall render it impossible to provide other official ballots, in which cases the city or municipal treasurer shall provide other ballots which shall be as similar to the official ones as circumstances will permit and which shall be uniform within each polling place.  The treasurer shall immediately report such action to the Commission.

The municipal treasurer shall not undertake the preparation of the emergency ballots unless the political parties, candidates and the organizations collectively authorized by the Commission to designate watchers have been sufficiently notified to send their representatives and have agreed in writing to the preparation and use of emergency ballots.

SEC. 183.  Requisition of official ballots and election returns. - Official ballots and election returns shall be printed upon orders of the Commission.  Requisition of official ballots shall be for each city and municipality, at the rate of one and one-fifth ballots for every registered voter in the next preceding election; and for election returns, at one set thereof for every polling place.

SEC. 184.  Printing of official ballots and election returns. - The official ballots and election returns shall be printed by the Government Printing Office and/or the Central Bank printing facilities exclusively, under the exclusive supervision and control of the Commission which shall determine and provide the necessary security measures in the printing, storage and distribution thereof.

Each ballot shall be joined by a perforated line to a stub numbered consecutively, beginning with number "1" in each city and municipality.  Each ballot shall also have at the bottom a detachable coupon bearing the same number of the stub.  Each pad of ballots shall bear on its cover the name of the city or municipality in which the ballots are to be used and the inclusive serial numbers of the ballots contained therein.

The official ballots shall be bound in separate pads of fifty or one hundred ballots each as may be required.

The election returns shall be prepared in sets of six copies per set and shall be numbered consecutively, beginning with number "1" in each city and municipality.  Each set of the election returns shall be printed in such a manner that will ensure that the entries on the original of the returns are clearly reproduced on the other copies thereof and shall bear the name of the city or municipality in which the returns are to be used.  For this purposes, the Commission shall acquire, if necessary, a special kind of carbon paper or chemically treated paper.

SEC. 185.  Sample official ballots. - The Commission shall provide the board of election inspectors with sample official ballots at the rate of thirty ballots per polling place.  The sample official ballots shall be printed on colored paper, in all respects like the official ballots but bearing instead the words "Sample Official Ballot," to be shown to the public and used in demonstrating how to fill out and fold the official ballots properly.  No name of any actual candidate shall be written on the spaces for voting on the sample official ballots provided by the Commission, nor shall they be used for voting.


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