Absentee voting guidelines released
Lorraine Mitzi A. Ambrad (The Freeman) - November 18, 2018 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines —  The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has released the guidelines for absentee voting.


Provincial Election Officer Ferdinand Gujilde said that government employees and members of the media, AFP, and PNP who are assigned to perform duties on election day away from where they are registered voters can apply for the privilege.

Local absentee voting is a mechanism during national and midterm elections wherein some Filipino citizens can cast their votes prior to the election day mandated by law.

“Maka-avail lang ka sa local absentee if you are constrained to be somewhere else, other than your place of registration, because you are mandated by law to perform election duties somewhere else,” Gujilde clarified.

“You can only be a local absentee if you are a registered voter to begin with,” he added.

He also said absentee voting is done in order for those who have election duties to still be able to vote. However, absentee voters can only vote for 12 senators and one partylist. They cannot vote for local positions like governor, vice governor, board member, congressman, mayor, vice mayor, and councilors.

“For the May 13, 2019 national and local elections, only the position of senators and partylist representative shall be voted for under the local absentee voting,” the Comelec resolution read.

Absentee voting is done by a registered voter, whose application for absentee voting application has been approved, at a place other than the place where he or she is registered.

“Adto ka sa lain (nga lugar), dili ka makabotar (local positions) kay dili man ka under sa ilang jurisdiction,” he said.

For instance, Gujilde said that a Cebu City-registered voter who will perform electoral duties in Bogo City cannot vote for a Cebu City candidate if he will be in Bogo on election day. The absentee voter may only vote a candidate who is recognized as a candidate in the area, like national-level candidates.

“Naa man ka sa lugar where your candidates do not present themselves as candidates,” Gujilde said.

Based on Comelec Resolution 10443, those who want to qualify for absentee voters may file their application with the Office of the Provincial Election Supervisor (OPES) if they are assigned in areas under Cebu Province or to the Office of the City Election Supervisor (OCES). The resolution also recognizes Cebu, Lapu-Lapu, and Mandaue are highly-urbanized cities.

Applications must be filed before March 11, 2019. Election Officers must submit the list of applications not later than March 14.

The application of a media practitioner must also include a certification from the company stating that he or she is a bonafide member of the media outfit and will be assigned in an area where the practitioner is not a registered voter.

Other local absentee voters will vote on any day starting April 29 up to May 1, 2019. Meanwhile, government officials and employees as well as members of the AFP and PNP are mandated to determine a polling place not later than April 9.

The absentee voting will be done manually. The Committee on Local Absentee Voting (CLAV) will collect the results of the special polls. It is the body which deems whether or not a registered voter may become an absentee voter. It is currently headed by Election Commissioner Socorro Inting.

CLAV, as stated in Comelec Resolution 10443, will count the absentee votes five days before the May 2019 polls.

Before June 30 next year, CLAV is also mandated to send the list of absentee voters who actually voted so their profiles can be updated by their respective election officers. — BRP (FREEMAN)

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