Shorter voting hours this May
Michael Vencynth H. Braga/RHM (The Freeman) - February 5, 2016 - 9:00am

CEBU, Philippines - The Commission on Elections has announced that registered voters will only have 10 hours to cast their ballots during the May 9 national and local elections.

Lawyer Lionel Marco Castillano, Comelec-Cebu election supervisor, said the poll body decided to modify the voting time to be more realistic, considering that the number of voters per clustered polling precinct was brought down to 800 from the 1,000.

This was resorted to because during the 2010 and 2013 elections, the average voter turnout was only 80 percent of the number of voters assigned per clustered precinct.

Castillano said the Comelec is also expecting the same turnout this May, or that the actual number of voters would only be 600.

That is why, he said, voting hours would just be from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. instead of 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

He said that the modified voting time would also allow the Board of Elections Inspectors to finish earlier as they no longer have to wait until 7 p.m., when no more voters head to polling precincts, before counting the ballots would start.

“Maka-prepare na unta atong BEIs for the transmission (of the results) unya makauli pod og sayo. Remember mosayo na sila’g mata, kadlawon magkuha pa sila sa elections paraphernalia. They (BEIs) stay awake for more than 12 hours. Prone na nuon sa mistakes kay taas na kaayo nga wa kay tulog,” he told reporters.

Based on Comelec-Cebu data, Cebu recorded 2.7 million registered voters for the May 9 national and local elections, or nine percent higher than in 2013 elections when it was only 2.5 million.

Castillano, though, said the 30-meter radius rule would still be observed on elections day. This means that voters who will be within a 30-meter radius from the polling precincts 30 minutes before voting closes will still be allowed to vote even beyond 5 p.m.

He said these voters would be asked by the poll clerk to list down their names so they would be accommodated.  (FREEMAN)

ACIRC BOARD OF ELECTIONS INSPECTORS CASTILLANO CEBU COMELEC COMELEC-CEBU ELECTIONS LAWYER LIONEL MARCO CASTILLANO MAKA VOTERS VOTING
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