Bill Aims to Eliminate Coin Toss in Election Ties

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COTABATO 3rd District Rep. Ma. Alana Samantha Taliño Santos recently introduced a bill that aims to eliminate the practice of using coin tossing to resolve election ties. The bill, known as House Bill 9796, was officially filed on January 22, 2024.

In the explanatory note accompanying the bill, it is argued that relying on a coin toss as a tiebreaker can be perceived as arbitrary. This method fails to take into account the preferences and opinions of the voters involved. Recognizing the need for a more rational approach, especially with another regular election scheduled for 2025, the bill seeks to institutionalize a fair and unbiased method for breaking election ties.

The proposed legislation focuses on amending Section 240 of Batas Pambansa 881, also known as the Omnibus Election Code. According to the bill, in situations where two or more individuals receive an equal and highest number of votes or when multiple candidates are vying for the same position and receive an identical number of votes for the final spot, the board of canvassers will present the final voting results to the relevant Sanggunian (council).

To break the tie, the council will convene a special session three days after receiving the results and decide through a majority vote of all its members. It is important to note that if the position in question is for a district representative or district council member, only the members of the district’s council will have the authority to cast their votes and determine the winner. However, in the case of a senatorial position, the bill specifies that the duly elected 23 senators will collectively choose the candidate who will complete their roster.

By introducing this bill, Rep. Santos aims to address the limitations and potential unfairness associated with the current practice of coin tossing. Instead of leaving such a crucial decision to chance, the proposed legislation promotes a more democratic and inclusive approach that allows elected officials or their representatives to make an informed decision based on the will of the people.

It is worth emphasizing the significance of this bill in the context of international audiences. While coin tossing may be a familiar concept in some countries, it is essential to highlight that the proposed legislation aims to ensure fairness and transparency in the electoral process. By contextualizing the issue within the framework of local laws and customs, it becomes evident that this bill represents a step toward enhancing democratic practices and upholding the principles of representative governance.

In conclusion, House Bill 9796, introduced by COTABATO 3rd District Rep. Ma. Alana Samantha Taliño Santos, seeks to put an end to the use of coin tossing as a means to break election ties. By proposing a more rational and democratic approach, the bill aims to provide a fair and transparent method for resolving such situations. If passed, this legislation will contribute to strengthening the electoral process and ensuring that the will of the people is accurately reflected in the outcomes of elections.

Source: The Manila Times

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