We, the academe, civil society organizations, youth groups, and sectoral leaders, urge the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) to heed the call of many voters and election stakeholders to ensure that voters across the country, who are still lined up to cast their vote, will be given the assurances that they will be able to exercise their right to vote.
Today, we witnessed the malfunctioning of Vote Counting Machines (VCM), SD cards, and other challenges, which led to many Filipinos being unable to cast their vote and possibly being disenfranchised.
As of 7:00 pm of 09 May 2022, queues outside voting centers are still long in many parts of the country. Many of these voters have been waiting in line for 5 to 10 hours to cast their vote.
A number of voters have also expressed deep concern over how their votes are cast. Due to the malfunctioning VCMs, many voters were asked to sign a waiver, and then leave their ballots with election officers, who will be the one to feed their shaded ballots in the VCM. Voters claim these matters were not explained to them well.
We join the call of other election watchdogs and stakeholders for the COMELEC to increase transparency to inspire greater confidence in our electoral process and identify the causes that led to the VCM malfunctions we have experienced today.