MANILA – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) is looking to start printing the official ballots for the May 2022 polls early next week.

“Our estimate is that our final ballot faces will be completed by January 15. The final ballot face means that is the final list of candidates. So January 15 and we hope to be able to start printing by January 17,” Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez said in a virtual press briefing Wednesday.

Jimenez said the poll body is now preparing for a walkthrough at National Printing Office (NPO) in Quezon City on Saturday.

“So right now we are preparing to hold a walkthrough of NPO on January 15. we are finalizing preparations for that this afternoon. Hopefully, the walkthrough will be in person,” Jimenez added.

He said the ballot faces will be uploaded on their website.

Asked if the first ballots to be printed are for overseas voters, the Comelec official said, “We will let you know as soon as we finalize the walkthrough plans but yeah we are looking at January 17 as the start and then normally we do start with overseas ballots mainly because they are the first out. They are going to be used as early as April. Let me just verify if their ballots are the ones to be printed first.”

Filipino voters overseas will be the first to vote in next year’s polls, or one month ahead of the voting in the country. They will only be allowed to vote for candidates in national positions. (PNA)