Lawyers for Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. have questioned the unusually high number of “undervotes” in the vice presidential race as shown in Certificates of Canvass (COCs) opened on Wednesday, the first day of the official tally by Congress. “We have accounted ‘undervotes’ Your Honor, that’s totaling the votes cast for the Vice President vis-à-vis the votes cast by the voters, it would appear that such number was discovered from the COC Your Honor that totals 623,174,” one of the lawyers, George Garcia, said on Thursday. The discovery confirmed Marcos’ earlier complaint that 3.3 million “undervotes” were discovered in their own quick count, Garcia added. Because of questions involving the “undervotes,” only 45 of the 48 opened COC were officially included in the canvass.
Garcia said the three questioned COC were from the provinces of Laguna, Ilocos Sur and Davao del Norte. These were found to have differences with the electronically-transmitted COC.
As part of the investigation, the Joint Canvassing Committee ordered the Provincial Board of Canvassers (PBOC) in the three provinces to explain the discrepancies. Citing as an example, Garcia said the first electronically-transmitted COC from Davao del Norte did not conform with the succeeding printed four COC.
Election watchdogs and Information Technology experts earlier said “undervotes” do not usually exceed one percent of the total votes cast. In the 2016 elections, there should be not more than 400,000 such votes at 81 percent voter turnout.