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Special Election in Ilocos Sur held

from NAMFREL Election Monitor Vol.2, No.13

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On May 28, 2011, the Commission on Elections held a special election in the province of Ilocos Sur. The election was for the position vacated by former Rep. Ronald Singson after he resigned to serve his sentence of 18-month imprisonment for drug possession in Hong Kong. Ronald’s younger brother, Ryan, won the elections as the 1st district’s representative to the House of Representatives with 71,995 votes, defeating his rival Atty. Bertrand Baterina who garnered 30,445 votes. Singson was proclaimed as the official winner by the COMELEC in the morning of May 29, 2011.

NAMFREL Ilocos Sur chapter chairperson Sr. Lilian Carranza headed the volunteers who were deployed to monitor the polls. Volunteers were present in all the ten municipalities in the 1st District, and in Vigan City. They reported that the special election was generally peaceful, but was characterized by rampant vote-buying. This activity involved some barangay officials who were allegedly paid to influence their constituents and to help in distributing cash incentives to heads of households in their barangay to vote for a certain candidate.

Field volunteers informed that of the 161, 975 registered voters, only 100, 269, or around 61.9% of voters turned out to vote. According to their analysis, this could be attributed partially to the inclement weather, especially in the morning of election day, but towards the afternoon, they noted an increase in the number of voters who cast their ballots.
Despite challenges, NAMFREL Ilocos Sur was able to obtain permission from the Provincial Election Supervisor to secure a copy of the Election Returns (ERs). Volunteers were able to collect 571 Election Results (ERs) from the 577 clustered precincts in all the ten towns and one city in the 1st district, or 98.96%. After the ERs were collected, Sr. Lilian led the chapter  to come up with an unofficial tally of the results per city/ municipality.

Between 600 and 700 volunteers were mobilized on election day. Volunteers were fielded to monitor the general conduct of the elections, and to collect the seventh copy of the ER in all the towns and city in the 1st district of Ilocos Sur.
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COMELEC chairman Sixto Brillantes, Jr. and Commissioner Elias Yusoph went to the province to personally oversee the conduct of the special elections. It was reported that the poll body allotted Php 18.4 million, or about Php 114 per registered voter, to cover operational expenses during the elections.

Read Namfrel's election day statement here: http://bit.ly/j6ZXZc
Read Namfrel's parallel count tally here: http://bit.ly/lLcMNi
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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