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Printing of BARMM ballots begins Sunday

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The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Saturday said the printing of ballots for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) will begin on Sunday, 23 January.

Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez said that there will be two ballots that will be used in BARMM, particularly in 63 barangays in the region that don’t have their respective districts.

“They will not be able to participate in the local elections because it is not yet clear which district they are in BARMM. When BARMM was formed, there were 63 barangays that seceded from their mother municipalities to join BARMM. Now, the Bangsamoro Transition Authority would create districts within BARMM,” Jimenez said.

He added that the districts are not created yet due to the postponement of the local elections in the region.

“And when the districts are created, then you will know where those barangays will vote. But it has not been done yet because the election in BARMM has been postponed,” he added.

He explained that the 63 barangays will only vote for national positions using manual ballots.

“Those 63 barangays can only vote for national-level positions so they have manual ballots,” he said.

In late October last year, President Rodrigo Duterte signed Republic Act 11593, which postpone the first parliamentary elections of the BARMM from May 2023 to May 2025.

Under the law, the President can designate up to 80 new members of the BARMM’s interim government, the Bangsamoro Transition Authority, who will serve until 30 June 2025.

Meanwhile, Comelec Education and Information Department Atty. Elaiza Sabile-David said in a tweet they are already done with the printing of ballots for Local Absentee Voting with 59,989 ballots, while there are already 79,050 ballots that have been printed for the Overseas Absentee Voting, which is still ongoing.

Comelec Deputy Executive Director for Administration Helen Aguila-Flores previously said that they expect to finish the printing of ballots by 21 April.

There are 67,442,714 official ballots that will be printed from the National Printing Office in Quezon City, where 65,745,529 ballots will be used for local voting while 1,697,202 ballots will be used for overseas voting.

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