The Commission on Elections (Comelec) Office for Overseas Voting on Tuesday said the two official ballots found inside a mailing packet of a Filipino voter in Rome were not identical.
"They have the same Ballot ID since they belong to the same clustered precinct but the serial numbers are different which only the QR Code can read," Comelec Office for Overseas Voting Director Elaiza Sabile-David said in a statement.
"When the SBEI (Special Board of Election Inspectors) of Rome reported the matter, the OFOV immediately gave instruction to mark the other ballot "spoiled" and let the voter vote using the other ballot," she added.
A few days after the overseas absentee voting kicked off on April 13, a video showing the two official ballots of a voter in Rome went viral on social media.
Rome uses the postal mode of voting for the 2019 midterm elections, according to the poll body.
This means that registered Filipino voters in Rome will each receive a mailing packet containing a ballot envelope, official ballot, paper seal, and instruction.
These may be sent by mail, personally delivered, or picked up by the voter. After casting votes, the voter may either mail the accomplished ballot or personally deliver it to the designated post.
The Comelec said the Filipino voter who found two official ballots in his mailing packet personally received it from the Philippine Embassy in Rome.
Overseas absentee voting for the 2019 national and local elections will run until May 13, 2019 at 83 Philippine embassies, consulates, and foreign posts around the globe. — Dona Magsino/RSJ, GMA News