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Comelec to use colored ballots in 2010 polls

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has now figured out a way to make voting easier: by coloring the ballots. Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez on Wednesday said the ballot will be divided into sections that will be delineated by a colored border. The sections will be colored blue for president, vice president, congressmen, provincial governor, and councilors; and green for senators, party-list groups, provincial board members, and municipal mayors.

In order to make voting easier, the poll body made a new ballot where the lists of candidates will be delineated by position using colored borders. - Comelec photo (Click the documents for a larger view)
Jimenez said the poll body approved the proposal so that it will be easier for voters to identify what position he or she is currently voting for. “So that isang tingin mo pa lang, alam mo na kung anong section ang pinapasukan mo (So that with just one look, you’ll know what section you’re on)." The text in the ballot will remain black and the background white. The ballot, containing a maximum of 600 names, will measure about 20 to 25 inches long and 8 ½ inches wide. Jimenez said the colored ballots will not entail additional costs in terms of printing. “There will be no additional cost. If you think about it, full color na ang (the) Philippine seal (itself is full colored)," he said. To lessen the text on the ballot, the Comelec will put only the acronyms of participating party-list groups and their corresponding number. The numbers will be pre-released so that the groups can use it in their campaign. Reminders Meanwhile, Jimenez reminded voters to shade at least 50 percent of the ovals placed next to the name of the candidate when voting. “We always say it’s good to shade it completely but the threshold is 50 percent," he said, stressing that the machine will be able to recognize their shading as long as it’s at half of the threshold. Comelec Commissioner Gregorio Larrazabal said uniform markers will be provided for shading the ballots as well as secrecy folders for privacy. Jimenez said the poll body will not be providing spare ballots and urged voters to be responsible with his or her ballot. “Kung gusto mo protektahan o ipagkanulo ang boto mo, kayang-kaya mo yan gawin. Konting common sense yan, hindi naman ganun kahirap ganun kahirap gamitin yung balota, hindi rin naman ganun kadali sirain," he said. (If you want to protect or give away your vote, you can do that. It’s common sense, it’s not that hard to use the ballot, it’s also not that hard to destroy your ballot.) Printing
The Comelec said voters should shade at least 50 percent of the ovals placed beside the names of candidates so that their vote for that position will be counted. Comelec
Lawyer Esmeralda Ladra, director of the Comelec Planning Department, said they plan to print the ballots by January. This month, they will only print training ballots. She said the current price for price for each ballot is currently at P2.90 but that they are still negotiating with the National Printing Office for a lower price since Smartmatic-TIM will be providing the paper and equipment for the project. The ballots used in the 2007 elections were priced at P2.20. - GMANews.TV