Public asked to help decide on plan for voting at malls
Kristine B. Quintas and Michael Vencynth H. Braga/JMO (The Freeman) - July 31, 2015 - 10:00am

CEBU, Philippines - The Commission on Elections is urging the public to participate in an online survey on the creation of voting precincts in shopping malls for the 2016 elections.

The poll body said the survey aims to determine if voters agree to use some malls as polling precincts.

Comelec is considering establishing select voting precincts in malls in the National Capital Region and in the provinces. It believed that voting in shopping malls will address problems expected at congested polling precincts in public schools.

“Ideally, this initiative can improve voting experience by maximizing available mall amenities, such as additional security and air-conditioned areas, and decongesting voting centers on election day,” reads part of the Comelec’s press statement. 

Under the plan, only polling precincts in public schools near shopping malls will be transferred. When no shopping mall is within the vicinity, precincts will remain in public schools.

To participate in the online survey, voters may visit the official Comelec website www.comelec.gov.ph or access. http://www.electionsphl.com/participate/mall-voting.

Meanwhile, the poll body is set to announce this month its final decision on which of the parallel automation options will be considered for the 2016 national and local elections.

Comelec is holding parallel biddings: one is to refurbish the existing 80,000 precinct count optical scanners and the other to procure 100,000 new ones.

This came after the Supreme Court ruled to temporarily stop the P268 million extended warranty contract of the Comelec with Smartmatic-Total Information Management consortium for the full diagnostics and refurbishment of the 80,000 PCOS machines to be used next year.

The two options were presented by the Comelec En Banc to Senate President Franklin Drilon and Speaker of the House of Representatives Feliciano Belmonte Jr. during a meeting last month.

The leaders of Congress supported the automation of the 2016 elections amidst the petitions filed before the Supreme Court seeking to halt automation, the Comelec posted on its website.

“Automation is the only way forward,” Comelec added. (FREEMAN)

ACIRC AUTOMATION COMELEC COMELEC EN BANC DRILON AND SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES FELICIANO BELMONTE JR. MALLS NATIONAL CAPITAL REGION PRECINCTS SMARTMATIC-TOTAL INFORMATION MANAGEMENT SUPREME COURT VOTING
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