FACT SHEET ON DISCREPANCY OF BALLOTS AND COUPONS/STUBS
by GABRIELA WOMEN’S PARTYLIST – HONG KONG
(1) Discrepancy on Number of Ballots being counted and the Stubs/Coupons with Voters’ Thumb marks
(2) Refusal of SBEI chairperson to receive and sign election protest from pollwatcher
DATE and TIME: May 14, 10:30 pm, Precint No. 25
(Case 1) At around 10:20 pm, we received reports from our pollwatchers that the SBEI chairperson of Precint 25 at the Bayanihan center in
Hong Kong, decided to continue counting the ballots assigned to them even though there is evident discrepancy in the number of ballots and stubs with thumbmarks.
The number of ballots given to them was 500 but the number of stubs with thumbmark only counted 390. There is a very large discrepancy of 102 stubs
A pollwatcher from CIBAC protested the discrepancy and our pollwatcher also logged in the protest form at the SBEI minutes. However, the SBEI chairperson in Precint 25, Ms. Lelita Lastima decided to continue with the counting.
During the break, the SBEI chairperson explained that this situation is “normal” and has happened also in 2004. The reason she gave was that (a) all votes cast in HK were divided into sets of 500 to old and additional precints for counting. Originally, there were 22 voting precincts but now there are 38; (b) the discrepancy can be attributed to stubs which were not transferred from one ballot box to another due to difficulty in identifying which stub is for what ballot.
The SBEI chairperson asserts that the ballot box only has 398 voters, therefore 398 thumbmarked stubs, but then their precint received 102 additional ballots from another ballot box or precint.
(Case 2) Upon filing of the election protest, the SBEi chairperson refused to accept the protest and said that they are “not authorized” to accept protests from pollwatchers.
When the CIBAC pollwatcher wrote their protest in the Minutes of the SBEI lower portion (space reserved for protests), the SBEI chairperson refused to sign. The Gabriela pollwatcher, Ms. Nieves Tumabaga, then noted a protest that the SBEI does not want to accept protests from pollwatchers.
Both election protests are still unsigned until now in the Minutes of the SBEI.
Our coordinator confronted the OAV secretariat regarding this matter. The representative of the OAV secretariat explained that their instructions to the SBEI in each precint is that in case protests are made by pollwatchers, they should ask the pollwatcher to put into writing the nature of the complaint and file it to the OAV secretariat.
We have already filed the protest and submitted it to the OAV secretariat.
Esther Bangcawayan, Secretary-General, Gabriela – Partylist HK / (852)97111673
Eman Villanueva, Secretary-General, UNIFIL-MIGRANTE-HK / (852) 97585935