WHEN Philippine elections were still completely manual, the whole process — from voting, to counting, to the proclamation of all winning candidates — would take anywhere from 25 to 35 days. (Local officials are of course proclaimed just days after the elections.) Once, it took so long — around 40 days — that the Commission on Elections (Comelec) feared that it might extend past the end of June, which would have meant that the incumbent national officials would be serving beyond their terms of office. Had it happened, that would have brought the country to a constitutional crisis.

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