Despite a total voter turnout of only 30% on the scheduled cut-off 5 pm this afternoon, the Student Government (SG) elections was not declared failed as the Committee on Elections (Comelec) opted for a one-day extension.
In an interview, Comelec Chairperson Juan Antonio Magnaye revealed that the reason for the extension was a miscommunication with the deadline set for the elections.
“Original plan is Saturday talaga. Nagkamali lang [kami] ng lagay sa POA (Program of Activities). Friday ang nailagay. Sinunod lang namin yung original na plano kasi scheduled [talaga] na Saturday 11:59 pm ma-e-expire ‘yung access ng students sa form,” Magnaye said.
He highlighted that the low voter turnout was a factor for the decision, but not the main reason.
“Yes, naging factor din [iyon], pero we’re really just sticking sa orihinal na plano,” he said.
Meanwhile, Comelec Secretary Angelika Borlasa added that the busy weekdays was one of the considerations for setting a Saturday deadline.
“Kinonsider kasi namin na baka busy ang students ngayong weekdays. Yun ang lagi nilang reason samin kapag pinapaboto namin sila: Mamaya na busy pa ako,” she said.
“Ini-include na din namin pati yung mga nasa OJT pa na baka sa bahay pa makakaboto, or kung ano pang situation nila,” she added.
Low voter turnout
As of April 20, only 30% (988 of 3290) of the voters population have cast their votes, while the elections need to at least 50%+1 of votes to be considered successful.
Borlasa explained that once the elections do not reach the required turnout, deliberation will take place on who will be appointed on the different positions of next year’s SG.
“Pag failed elections kasi ay maguundergo ng deliberation kung sino ang iu-upo sa pwesto. Hindi meaning na sya yung candidate, sya na yung iuupo,” Borlasa explained.
No chance of further extension
Meanwhile, Magnaye said that there will be no more extensions to follow, even if they do not reach the required voter turnout.
“Wala naman kaming hinahabol na quota. We’ve been encouraging students na nakikita namin to vote. Kung umabot ng 50%+1 before the period ends, good. Pero susundin namin ‘yung Sabado [na cut-off],” he said.
Elections will be open until 11:59 pm of April 21.