Poll ballots printed on world's best machine

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Pinoys may rest assured that all 52 million voters in the May polls will each have a ballot, thanks to the printing machines that are the "world's latest."

Ballot printing will in fact probably be finished weeks before the deadline, the National Printing Office, the government agency tasked with producing the ballots, on Wednesday said.

"We are confident that we will be able to do it in 65 days," NPO Assistant Director Raul Nagrampa told reporters at the sidelines of the printing facility's unveiling ceremony.

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Printing of ballots is set to begin by Feb. 4 and is expelast until April 25 in time for the May 2013 polls.

Expected to speed up the processare three Canon Color Stream 3000 printers NPO leased through a P780-million contract with the Holy Family Printing Corp. ant Canon Marketing Phil.

"The technology of the printing machines we chose for this project is the latest in the world that we are confident of finishing the printing two weeks ahead of schedule, God willing," NPO Director Emmanuel Andaya said during the event.

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"And we are going to do this with lesser budget compared to the 2010 ballot printing," he added.

The printing machines are expected to produce 300 ballots a minute while working 18 hours a day.

The ballots will have five security features, Andaya said, while noting that the faciliy will be secured with closed-circuit televisions and observers.

A staff of 42 will also man the machines over three shifts for round-the-clock operations, during which machines will are expected to run for 18 hours.

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After printing, ballots will be validated using 156 precint count optical scan machines in the NPO facility.

Commission on Elections Chairman Sixto Brillantes, Jr. in the same event, meanwhile, hailed the development as "the commencement of our electoral process."
"NPO will be the starting line. The ballot is the heart of the elections. Kung walang balota, walang bibilangin (Without ballots, there's nothing to count)," Brillantes said.

Related slideshow: Senate aspirants file COCs

Former Senator Ramon Magsaysay Jr. files his certificate of candidacy at the Commission on Elections office in Intramuros, Manila Oct 5. (Angela Galia, NPPA Images)
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Sat, Oct 6, 2012 2:00 AM PHT

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