Even a small dot on the oval can get your ballot rejected

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From what we’ve seen, three ballots have been rejected because of so-called ambiguous marks. These are usually dots that have inadvertently been placed on ovals in the course of the voting. Since what is used is a felt-tipped pen, any contact between the pen and the ballot will result in a mark.

An oval has to be fully shaded so that it would not be considered an ambiguous mark. Once there is a mark or dot on the oval, even if unintended, this can be read by the PCOS machine as an ambiguous mark. The ballot will likely be rejected, as what we have seen in the UNTV mock polls.

What is the remedy? It appears that for the BEI’s here, the only remedy for such an ambiguous mark is to fully shade the oval, EVEN IF IT MEANS OVERVOTING for that position.

From what we’ve seen, three voters had to overvote for the PCOS to read the ballots that previously had ambiguous marks. It’s either they overvote or their ballots will be rejected and considered spoiled.

Here is a case where the only way to right a wrong is by another wrong.

Voters should be extra-careful, but sometimes, they can’t be blamed if there are smudges or if the pen accidentally dots the ballot. The threshold of the machine is such that a tiny dot can be an ambiguous mark.

Always remember, you won’t get a second ballot.

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