Comelec to carry out mall voting for 2025 polls

Ian Laqui - Philstar.com
Comelec to carry out mall voting for 2025 polls
This photo shows Comelec Chairman George Garcia (left) with UST Secretary-General Fr. Louie Coronel O.P. in a voter's registration event in UST Manila on March 14, 2024.
The Varsitarian-UST

MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) will be implementing mall voting for the midterm elections across the Philippines, Comelec Chairman George Garcia announced on Thursday.

This has been said by the Comelec chair in a voter registration event at the University of Santo Tomas, saying that the poll body will utilize all malls in the country as polling precincts.

“Sa susunod na eleksyon din po lahat ng malls sa buong bansa, lalong lalo na sa Metro Manila, magpapaboto po tayo,” Garcia said. 

(In the next election, all malls nationwide, especially in Metro Manila, will also serve as voting places.)

“Lahat po ng kababayan natin na nakapalibot sa malls, pabobotohin po natin sila,” he added. 

(We will facilitate the voting of all our fellow citizens who are around the malls.)

Garcia said that mall voting will offer more convenience for voters compared with the usual polling precincts in elementary schools. 

“Mas comportable, mas medyo malamig-lamig ng konti, walang vote buying, walang violence walang dumi walang kalat at ‘yan po ay pinagkakaloob sa atin ng lahat ng mall owners and operators ng libre ng wala silang sinisingil sa Comelec,” Garcia said.

(More comfortable, a bit cooler, no vote buying, no violence, no dirt, no mess, and all of these are provided to us by all mall owners and operators for free without charging anything to Comelec.)

“Tama na ang paggamit sa mga elementary schools. Sabi ko nga sa local Comelec namin, sana magahanap tayo ng ibang alternatibo, 'yung elementary schools pang elementary ‘yan,” he added.  

(Enough of using elementary schools. As I told our local Comelec, let's find other alternatives. Elementary schools are meant for elementary students.)

However, the transfer of voters from the usual polling precinct to malls will still undergo consultation, according to Garcia. 

“Ibig sabihin, kung majority ng mga nakatira diyan sa barangay na yan o sa presintong ‘yan gusto ilipat ang kanilang pagboto sa mall, saka po namin ililipat. Hindi po namin puwe-puwersahin ang paglipat ng venue ng pagboto,” Garcia said. 

(It means that if the majority of residents in that barangay or precinct want to move their voting to the mall, then we will move it there. We will not force the relocation of the voting venue.)

The poll body conducted a pilot testing for mall voting during the last Barangay and Sangguaniang Kabataan Elections (BSKE) at selected malls, which had a huge voter turnout, according to Comelec spokesman Rex Laudiangco. 

The 2025 local and national elections will be held on May 12, while the BSKE in the same year will be held in December. 

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