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Counting of overseas votes hasn’t started

Votes cast in the ongoing overseas absentee voting (OAV) have not been counted. The Commission on Elections will start counting all votes only after the polls close on May 9.

But an April 21 post by a supporter of presidential candidate Ferdinand Marcos Jr. claimed that “kakampinks” or supporters of his rival, Vice President Leni Robredo, have released “consolidated results” showing her leading the race in Qatar, Riyadh, Italy, South Korea and Hong Kong by a wide margin. For example, Robredo supposedly garnered 445 votes versus Marcos’ 45 in Qatar.

Facebook user Joy Aparicio Denora, a member of the Facebook group BBM SARA Uniteam Supporters, said Robredo supporters claim the results are “legit” or legitimate. She did not specify if these were from exit polls as other fact-checked posts earlier did.

Comelec Resolution 10695 stipulates that counting and consolidation of votes, including those from OAV, shall be held on May 9 after the casting of votes and closing of polls.

The online user said the information came from Robredo supporters but offered no evidence.

OAV started on April 10 in accordance with Section 16.1 of Republic Act 9189, or the Overseas Absentee Voting Act of 2003, and will end on May 9.

Reacting to reports of “exit polls” of OAV spreading online, Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez earlier clarified that these are not the official tally and counting will begin after the polls close on May 9:

An “exit poll” is not the official tally of votes cast in the 2022 National and Local Elections. Tandaan din na bibilangin lang ang mga boto ng Overseas Voting (Also note that the Overseas Voting votes will only be counted) on May 9, AFTER the close of polls.

He also warned the public against exit polls being conducted by spreading on the internet. In another tweet answering a question from a netizen, he said,

As a general rule, unless na ang nag labas ng exit poll ay isang kilala at reputable na survey firm, hindi ito reliable. Lalo na sa social media, madaling gumawa ng official looking forms or graphics na mukhang legit (As a general rule, unless the person who issued the exit poll is a well -known and reputable survey firm, it is not reliable. Especially on social media, it’s easy to create official-looking forms or graphics that look legitimate).

The post has sparked a debate between Robredo and Marcos supporters, with the latter claiming that the votes had been swapped. BBM SARA Uniteam Supporters, to which Denora belongs, has more than 18,000 members.(HM)


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