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COUNTING OF VOTES information pending against him for

any election offense.

Who does the counting? d. Speak, read and write English or the
A. Board of Election Inspectors (BEI) local dialect.
The members of the BEI are the front-line e. At least 1 member of the Board shall
election officers. They perform such duties be an information technology (IT) -
and responsibilities that make them foot capable person who is trained and
soldiers who see to it that elections are free, certified by DOST to use the
honest and orderly and are essential to the Automated Elections System (AES)
holding of elections. (Sec. 3, RA 9369)

1. Members (Sec. 164, BP 881; Sec.13, RA 3. Disqualifications (Sec. 173, BP 881)

6646; COMELEC Res. No. 8786) a. Related within 4th degree of
a. Chairman consanguinity or affinity to any
b. Poll clerk member of the BEI.
c. Two members, those with b. Related within 4th degree of
permanent appointment and who consanguinity or affinity to any
served in the immediately preceding candidate to be voted for in the
national and local elections. polling place or his spouse.
c. Engaged in any partisan political
In all cases, the Election Officer activity or those who take part in the
shall ensure that at least one election (except to discharge his
member of the BEI shall be an duties as such and to vote)
information technology-capable 4. How constituted and appointed
person as certified by the They are constituted by the COMELEC
Department of Science and directly or through its duly authorized
Technology (DOST) after the representatives, for each precint:
training of the same. a. At least 30 days before the date
when the voter’s list to be prepared
When there are not enough public in case of a regular election.
school teachers, the following may b. At least 15 days before a special
be appointed for election duty: election.
 Employees in civil service
 Teachers in private schools 5. Oath of office (Sec. 165, BP 881)
 Other citizens of known The members, whether permanent,
probity and competence substitute or temporary, shall before
who are registered voters assuming their office, take and sign an
of the city or municipality. oath before an officer authorized to
 Provided, the chairman administer oaths or, in his absence,
must be a public school before any other member of the board of
teacher. election inspectors present, or, in case no
one is present, they shall take it before
2. Qualifications (Sec. 166, BP 881) any voter.
a. Good moral character and The oath shall be immediately sent to the
irreproachable reputation. city or municipal treasurer.
b. Registered voter of the city or
municipality 6. Powers of the BEI
c. Never been convicted of any a. Conduct the voting in the polling
election offense or any other crime place and administer the electronic
punishable by more than 6 months counting of votes, including the
of imprisonment and there is no

testing and sealing of the PCOS  It is defined as the place where
machine. the Board of Election
b. Print the election returns and Inspectors conducts its
transmit electronically the election proceeding and where the
results through the use of the PCOS voters cast their votes. (Sec.
machine to the: 3(l), RA No. 8189)
a. City/Municipal Board of  However, on account of
Canvassers imminent danger of widespread
b. Central Server violence or similar cases of
c. Transparency Server comparable magnitude,
c. Act as deputies of the Commission COMELEC may order that BEI
in the conduct of elections. count the votes and accomplish
d. Maintain order within the polling the election returns and other
place and its premises; forms prescribed under the
Keep access thereto open and Code in any other place within
unobstructed; a public building in the same
Enforce obedience to its lawful municipality or city.
orders and  This shall not be located within
Prohibit the use of cellular phones the perimeter nor inside a
and camera by the voters. military or police camp,
If any person refuses to obey the reservations, detachment or
lawful orders of the BEI or conducts field office nor within the
himself in a disorderly manner in its premises of prison or detention
presence or within its hearing and bureau or any law enforcement
interrupts or disturbs its of investigation agency.
proceedings, the BEI may issue an
order in writing directing any peace Marked Ballots
officer to take the person into
These contain a mark intentionally written or placed
custody until adjournment of the
by the voter for the purpose of identifying the ballot or
meeting. But such order shall not be
the voter.
executed as to prevent said person
from voting. The distinguishing mark which the law forbids to be
A copy of such written order shall placed in the ballot is that which the elector may have
be attached to the minutes. placed with the intention of facilitating the means of
e. Furnish to watchers Certificate of identifying said ballot for the purpose of defeating
Votes (CEF No. A13) upon request. secrecy of suffrage.
f. Perform such other functions as
prescribed by the Code or by the Reason for disallowing marked ballots: Independence
rules and regulations promulgated of voters in their right to vote would be violated if
by the Commission. marked ballots were not disallowed. Unscrupulous
persons taking advantage of their influence or political
7. Start of counting - As soon as the voting prestige may require voters to place a distinguishing
is finished, the BEI shall publicly count mark on their ballot in exchange of some promise,
in the polling place the votes cast and reward or valuable consideration. Voters would have
ascertain the results. The BEI shall not no escape because of the distinguishing marks placed
adjourn or postpone or delay the count on their ballots.
until it has been fully completed, unless How is it determined?
otherwise ordered by COMELEC.
By the BEI: They shall determine whether there are
8. Place of counting – At the polling marked ballots by a majority vote. Non-official
places. (Sec. 168, BP 881) ballots which the BEI may find, except those which

have been used as emergency ballots, shall be written which, when read, has a sound similar
considered as marked ballots. (Sec. 208, BP 881) to the name or surname of a candidate when
correctly written shall be counted in his favor.
Using the ballot itself in view: Evidence aliunde is (Sec. 211, par. 7, BP 881)
not allowed to prove that a ballot is marked. An 3. Unless it should clearly appear that they
inspection or examination of the ballot itself being have been put by the voter as identification
sufficient. (Bocobo v. COMELEC) marks, the use of two or more kinds of
In the absence of evidence aliunde clearly showing writing, or hyphens between the first name
that the intention or plan was for purposes of and surname of the candidate, shall not
identification, signs on ballots presumed accidental. invalidate the ballot. (Sec. 211, par. 22 of
(Villarosa v. Guanzon) BP 881)
4. When in a space in the ballot there appears a
The COMELEC doesn’t need to conduct an name of a candidate that is erased and another
adversarial proceeding or a hearing and to solicit the clearly written, the vote is valid for the latter.
help of handwriting experts in determining the (Sec. 211, par.22, BP 881)
authentication of ballots and the handwriting therein. 5. Crosses put on the spaces on which the voter
Expert opinions are not ordinarily conclusive but are has not voted shall be considered as a sign to
generally regarded as purely advisory. (Punzalan v. indicate his desistance from voting and shall
COMELEC) not invalidate the ballot. (Sec. 211, par. 21 of
BP 881)
Consequence if marked ballots found: If any
6. The initial of the nickname of the candidate
marked ballots are found, they shall be placed in an
may be used together with the surname of the
envelope labelled “marked ballots” which shall be
candidate on the purpose of identifying the
sealed and signed by the members of the BEI and
candidate for whom the voter votes.
placed in a compartment for valid ballots and shall not
7. A ballot should be counted if it is marked
be counted.
afterwards by some person or persons other
than the voter himself.
8. Any vote which does not sufficiently identify
What kind of marks are prohibited? the candidate for whom it is intended shall be
considered as a stray vote but shall not
Those which the voter himself deliberately placed on
invalidate the whole ballot. (Sec. 211, par. 14
his ballot for the purpose of identifying it thereafter.
of BP 881)
The determinative factor is the existence of evidence
9. Any vote in favor of a candidate for an office
aliunde tending to show the intention to identify the
for which he did not present himself shall be
considered as a stray vote but it shall not
A ballot should be counted if it is marked afterwards invalidate the whole ballot. (Sec.211, par. 19
by some person or persons other than the voter of BP 881)
himself. Subsequent changes in the ballot made by a
person other than the voter should not be permitted to
affect the result of the election or destroy the will of INSTANCES OF MARKED BALLOTS
the voters.
(1) In 170 ballots, where the name of the
The Court laid down the following guidelines to candidate first voted for councilor was
determine whether a ballot is marked or not: written with his surname prefixed by a
(Dojillo v. COMELEC) nickname or a derivative or contraction of
his first name; the rest were voted for by
1. There is no requirement that the entries in the their surnames.
ballot be written nicely or that the name of its (2) In two ballots, the vote for mayor is “J.
candidate be spelled correctly. Nietes Nietes” and judging from their
2. The idem sonams rule does not require good penmanship, these were prepared by
exactitude nor perfection in the spelling of well-educated persons.
names. A name or surname incorrectly (3) In four ballots, where name of one

candidate for senator is clearly and for councilor as the last councilor voted in
markedly indented to the right. several ballots.
(4) Use of two or more kinds of writings (7) Writing the expression “carancho” before
deliberately put by the voter to serve as the name of a candidate as an appellation
identification marks. of affection or friendship. Also, writing the
(5) Where voter writes the name of a person words “Sampion” and “Mabohay” after
not a candidate 3 times on 3 spaces for the candidates’ names for the same reason.
different offices. (8) Numerals on the back written by the BEI
(6) Written opposite the spaces for candidates as a tally guide.
were the words: “Nako si Kristo,” “Adgan (9) Illegible writings, being imprints of other
Pook,” “Tres Lease,” “A.P.O.,” etc. names written on the ballot caused by the
(7) Where the names of two well-known folding of the same.
movie stars who were not candidates are (10) Writing the word “Afag” before the name
written of the candidate, referring to an
(8) Writing the name of a registered voter, not organization headed by said candidate.
a candidate, with handwriting that is (11) Affixing the nickname of a candidate.
identical to the signature on the registered (12) Misspelling innocently the candidate’s
voters’ list in the precint. name.
(9) Written after the two names in the spaces (13) Writing the term “None that I know”
for councilors were the words “Minte” and (14) Voting names of non-candidates, in the
“Kabayan” on block or printed form. absence of evidence that these names were
(10) Writing the word “saging” an irrevelant used as identifying marks.
epithet after the name of a candidate. (15) Accidental placing of a stain.
(11) Placing a big letter “X” immediately after
the name of a candidate for councilor.
(12) Placing a fingerprint of voter without
(13) The presence of an arrow together with
the words “and party”
(14) In the ballots, distinct initials and words,
such as “DLR,” “DOLLIN,” “DOLLINS,”
“LOS,” “LUZ,” “BONG,” etc. were
written on spaces for different positions.
These words, which are impertinent,
irrelevant, and unnecessary, are repeatedly
written and in some cases, two or three
words were written on a single ballot using
a good hand.


(1) Indentions not sufficient to identify the

(2) Writing the word “sorry” after the name of
a candidate as an expression of regret after
having made a mistake.
(3) Writing “Street” or “Grand Alliance” or
“and party.”
(4) Cancelling names and rewriting them to
confirm with a sample ballot.
(5) Writing a candidate’s name to occupy all
three spaces of the position
(6) Writing the name of a particular candidate