VERA FILES FACT CHECK: FB pages, netizens FALSELY claim only 43.3M voted in last elections


Several Facebook (FB) posts erroneously claim that only 43.3 million Filipinos actually voted in the May 9 elections. This figure is incorrect, based on data from the Commission on Elections (Comelec).

On May 24 and 25, a graphic appeared claiming that out of the 52.9 million votes cast in the recent elections, more than 9.6 million were from “other planets,” implying a rigging of the electoral exercise. The original graphic was from a Twitter post that has since been taken down.

According to Comelec data, more than 67.5 million Filipinos registered to vote this election year, a 6.31% increase compared to the 2019 midterm polls. (Read VERA FILES FACT SHEET: The Filipino vote in May 2022)

Comelec Education and Information Department head James Jimenez declared in a May 18 tweet that voter turn-out for 2022 is the highest since the automation of polls in 2008.

“Voter turnout for the 2022 National and Local Elections stands at 83% – the highest turn-out for automated elections in Philippine history,” he tweeted.

But some netizens who viewed the post spotted the error in the graphic and pointed out the data was outdated since the total number of voters has substantially increased. 

In the 2019 midterm elections, there were 63,665,994 registered voters, with 46,937,139 actually casting their vote. 

The false image appeared on the day both legislative chambers of the 18th Congress convened as the National Board of Canvassers to canvass votes and proclaim the winners of the presidential and vice-presidential elections.

The false graphic published by FB page Amor Powers (created on July 14, 2017), Pinoy Laugh Page (April 14, 2011), and two other netizens garnered more than 1,400 reactions, 170 comments, and 494 shares. It could have potentially reached more than 320,000 FB users.

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(Editor’s Note: VERA Files has partnered with Facebook to fight the spread of disinformation. Find out more about this partnership and our methodology.)