Former VP Jejomar Binay fails to vote after machine repeatedly rejects his ballot

Former vice president Jejomar Binay at the precinct today in Makati. Photo: Fernando Sepe Jr./ABS-CBN News
Former vice president Jejomar Binay at the precinct today in Makati. Photo: Fernando Sepe Jr./ABS-CBN News

The midterm elections did not get off to a good start for former Vice President Jejomar Binay after his ballot was repeatedly rejected by the vote-counting machine (VCM) today in his hometown of Makati City.

Oof.

Binay, who is running for congressman in Makati’s first district, witnessed his ballot get rejected at the San Antonio National High School, where he voted at just a bit past 7am, reported Rappler. 

In an interview with The Philippine Star, Binay said the VCM rejected his ballot eight times.

“I’m so disappointed,” he told reporters in a mix of English and Filipino. “First, the person ahead of me, the ballot they gave to him was dirty. [It was] considered a marked ballot. So it was my turn after.

“They tried it eight times. Normally, it’s four [tries]. [It was] rejected [by the VCM]. They don’t know why. It was all rejected. [They said] ‘you don’t have a vote anymore.’ I was deprived of my vote. Because the machine rejected it. That’s wrong.”

Binay went to the Commission on Election’s command center at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay to complain about what occurred, reported ABS-CBN show Halalan 2019. 

But the school’s principal, Gina Iligan, rejected the idea that Binay had simply been told he could not vote, telling ABS-CBN News that the VCM merely had a paper jam, which was why it rejected the former vice president’s ballot.

Once everything has been fixed, the school’s electoral board would reinsert Binay’s ballot into the machine. Binay can return in the afternoon to claim his voting receipt.

Later, the COMELEC chose to have the VCM replaced rather than repaired, CNN Philippines reported in a tweet. Binay has gone back to the school to vote again, according to the Philippine Daily Inquirer. 

The former vice president is not the only one in his family running for election this year. His children, incumbent Makati Mayor Abby and former mayor Junjun Binay, are running against each other for the mayoral post in the city.

Their rivalry reached its fever pitch late last month, when they confronted each other at a debate in a church, which led their father to intervene.

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