THE COMMISSION on Elections (Comelec) on Monday started returning the ballot boxes used for the random manual audit to the respective districts of origin.  

In a video streamed live on the Comelec Facebook page, Helen Maureen V. Graido, a policy consultant for election watchdog Legal Network for Truthful Elections, said members of the media, citizens’ arm group representatives, and other stakeholders were invited to the kick-off ceremony for transparency.  

“While these ballot boxes were being taken care of during the random manual audit teams, it can be assured that these were carefully handled and taken note of in our inventory,” she said. 

The election body had partnered with civil society organizations and the Philippine Statistics Authority for the vote verification process.  

Ms. Graido noted that as of Monday, they had verified 746 out of 757 ballot boxes from randomly chosen clustered precincts.   

She added that some ballot boxes no longer need to be audited, while some had also been mislabeled. 

The random manual audit process, which started on May 10, verifies if vote-counting machines had tallied votes correctly. Comelec said the accuracy rate of the audited votes was 99.9%.  

Ms. Graido earlier said the process checks for over-voting or under-voting during the elections, since some people vote for more or less than the required number of positions. — John Victor D. Ordoñez