By Ferdinand Patinio

FOR DISCARDING. Commission on Elections personnel check the official manual ballots and other election paraphernalia for the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections (BSKE), at the National Printing Office (NPO) in Quezon City on Sept. 21, 2023. The poll body on Tuesday (Nov. 28) said it will destroy close to 4 million election forms, including official ballots from the just concluded Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections (BSKE) to prevent its unlawful use. (PNA file photo by Joey O. Razon)

MANILA – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Tuesday said it will destroy close to 4 million election forms, including official ballots from the just concluded Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections (BSKE).

In an interview, Comelec deputy executive director for administration Helen Flores said the forms that would be destroyed include 3,990,624 unused and defective official ballots and 84,905 defective accountable forms.

“This is customary on the part of the Comelec. We do this after every election,” she said.

Also set for destruction are 1,371,179 defective ballots due to printer error; 1,483,052 unused ballots from the conversion from municipalities to cities of Baliwag, Bulacan and Carmona, Cavite and 275,953 unused ballots arising from the transfer of 10 former Makati barangays to Taguig City.

The poll body would also destroy a total of 860,440 excess ballots due to repeated allocation and 84,905 defective accountable forms due to machine error.

Flores noted that they expect to finish the destruction in a month.

She added that the move aims to prevent the unlawful use of the forms.

“We just want to make sure that the rejected ballots will not be used for illegal purposes. As you can see, these are official ballots. We need to destroy these in order to make sure that they are not used,” she said.

The destruction of poll paraphernalia will be done through manual tearing followed by shredding by the Comelec’s Disposal Committee. (PNA)