Around two million voters are expected to benefit from the plan of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to hold mall-based voting in the May 2016 polls. After tapping malls as partners for voter registration, they are also now being eyed as polling precincts in the upcoming elections.
With only seven months away before the national and local polls, the poll body already gave a sneak preview on what is going to be the set up for mall voting.
Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista even posed as the mock voter during the walk through held at Robinsons Magnolia in Quezon City on October 23.
The poll chief explained the step-by-step process to the media from steps one to seven which are listed below to already familiarize the voters.
First, voters need to look for their name in the Precinct Computerized Voters List (PCVL) to determine their precinct number and sequence number. Afterwards, they should proceed to the waiting or queuing area.
Second, voters should approach any member of the Board of Election Inspectors (BEI). The BEI will verify the voter’s identity and check if their fingernails have already been marked with indelible ink.
Third, after the voter’s identity has been established by the BEI, the voter will affix his or her signature in the Election Day Computerized Voters List.
Fourth, the BEI will give the voter a ballot and marking pen and direct voter to fill up the ballot in the designated voting booth.
Fifth, the voter shall approach the Vote Counting Machine and insert his ballot in the entry slot.
Sixth, the Third Member or support that will apply indelible ink to the voter’s right forefinger nail.
Seventh, the voter will return the marking pen to the Third Member or support staff then exit the polling place.
But Bautista explained that it is still a mock set up adding that they are still fine tuning the process. He added that they are still open to suggestions.
“Any observations that you may have are most welcome because we would like to improve upon the way we do things,” he said.
“We also want to enhance the voter experience. That’s why we want to make the process easy and convenient,” added Bautista.
Some of the advantages of mall-voting cited by the Comelec earlier include having cleaner, well-ventilated, and well-lit environment; enhanced security; insurance in power supply; higher chances of transmission; larger spaces; and enhanced privacy of voters, among others.
The Comelec still need to have hearings regarding mall-based voting and also notify the voters and political parties.
In case the plan pushes through, the poll body already said that not all polling centers will be transferred to malls as only those adjacent to the malls could be transferred.
Based on the Omnibus Election Code, the Comelec may designate as polling places appropriate private buildings in case there is no public school or other public buildings that can be used.