PH Embassy explains delay in canvassing of votes from U.S.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Philippine Embassy on May 21 issued the following statement:
We wish to clarify that contrary to reports, the delay in the canvassing of votes from the United States of America was mainly caused by the malfunction of four (4) SD cards.
Below are the facts regarding the canvassing of votes from the United States of America:
- The Special Board of Canvassers (SBOC) at the Philippine Embassy in Washington, D. C. is mandated to consolidate and canvass the votes from the US, except Guam.
- SBOC can only transmit the results of the canvass after 248 SD cards representing 248 clustered precincts have been scanned by the Consolidation/Canvassing System (CCS).
- In the course of ballot feeding, two (2) SD cards for precincts under the jurisdiction of the Philippine Consulate General in Los Angeles (LA PCG), and two (2) SD cards for precincts under the jurisdiction of the Philippine Consulate General in San Francisco (San Francisco PCG) malfunctioned.
- It should be noted that the Consulates immediately reported (same day) the SD card malfunctions to OFOV-COMELEC and requested replacement SD cards.
- In the case of San Francisco PCG, the first SD card malfunctioned on May 10. The second SD card malfunctioned on May 13. San Francisco PCG received the replacement SD cards on May 15 and 17, respectively. On May 19, San Francisco PCG Consul and SBEI Chairman Dominic Xavier Imperial personally turned over sixty (60) SD cards and election returns for the sixty (60) clustered precincts under the Consulate’s jurisdiction, to the SBOC in Washington, D.C.
- In the case of LA PCG, the first SD card (Precinct 129) malfunctioned on May 6 and LA PCG contacted OFOV-COMELEC on the same day. The replacement SD card arrived on May 13. Apart from being labeled for another precinct, this replacement SD card also did not work so LA PCG had to request and wait for another replacement SD card, which arrived on May 20.
- Another of LA PCG’s SD cards (Precinct 122) malfunctioned on May 13. The replacement arrived on May 17.
- After “close voting” protocols were completed and election returns were generated for LA PCG’s fifty-four (54) clustered precincts in the evening of May 20, Vice Consul and SBEI Chair Rainier Casis took the last flight out of Los Angeles to personally deliver the SD cards and election returns to SBOC in Washington, D.C. SBOC received the SD cards and election returns from Consul Casis at 7:15AM EDT on May 21.
- From the time the SBOC convened on May 13, 6:00AM EDT, the SBOC’s Consolidation and Canvassing System operator, Mr. Joey Macatula, has been in constant coordination with COMELEC, specifically Technical Director Rouie Panalba and Ms Jessa Janelle Padilla who also handles technical issues for US and Canada. The COMELEC was therefore apprised of developments in the canvassing of votes in the US.
10. The reports of the canvass, including the Certificate of Canvass, were transmitted to the COMELEC on May 21 at 10:45AM EDT.
11. Out of the 228,470 registered voters in the jurisdictions of the Embassy and the Consulates in the US (except Guam), 39,511 actually voted, marking 17.29% voter turnout for the 2019 midterm election. This exceeded voter turnout in the midterm election in 2013, which stood at 10.55%.
12. The SBOC Chairman, Consul General Renato Pedro Villa, is scheduled to depart Washington DC for Manila today, May 21, to personally deliver the Certificate of Canvass and SD cards to the National Board of Canvassers.