By Leslie Ann Aquino
Despite the release of the list of candidates for senator and partylist groups, the printing of the official ballots for the May 13 midterm polls may still start next week at the National Printing Office (NPO) on Quezon City.
Commission on Elections Spokesman James Jimenez explained that ballot printing cannot commence yet this week as they need time for the data to be uploaded to the Election Management System (EMS).
“Our IT Department still has to load the names (of candidates) into the EMS. The EMS needs about a week to process the information, “he said in an interview.
The EMS contains details, such as ballot design, voter information, and polling precincts.
The poll body was originally eyeing to start the printing of the ballots January 22.
Vicky Dulcero, vice chairman of the Comelec Printing Committee, said more than 61 million ballots are set to be printed for the said exercise.
Earlier, the Comelec said there will be a slight change in the ballot that will be used in the upcoming midterm polls.
Partylist groups will no longer be in the front face of the ballot rather at the back.
Leo Lim, Information Officer of the Commission on Elections, said this is to optimize the space in the ballot.
In previous polls, partylist organizations are written below the names of the candidates for senator.
Instead of partylist organizations, the names of those running for local posts such as those running for member, House of Representatives; Provincial Governor and Vice Governor; member, Sangguniang Panlalawigan; Mayor and Vice Mayor; and member, Sangguniang Panlungsod will now be in front of the ballot