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PIA Press Release

Comelec XI optimistic to end voting by 6pm

By Mai Gevera

Davao City (9 February) -- The Commission on Elections XI is planning to use larger classrooms for precincts this coming May elections.

As observed in the mock elections last February 6 at the Generoso Elementary School, observers doubted if the entire voting population in a certain precinct could finish voting and feeding of ballots before the 6pm end of voting schedule.

Comelec assistant regional director Atty. Marlon Casquejo told the media practitioners during the Kapehan sa Dabaw Monday that the office would address that particular concern by requiring larger classrooms for precincts such that it can accommodate 20 to 30 voters to do simultaneous voting.

"With this rate, we are positive that we will be able to end the voting process by 6 in the evening," he said.

A national study showed that with the poll automation, a voter has five minutes at the most to vote and feed the ballot on the machine. The manual voting process requires a longer time because the voter would have to write the complete name of his candidates as compared to the simple shading process required in automation.

The Comelec official estimates around 80 percent of the 2,566,727 registered voters in the region to cast their votes come election day.

This time, Comelec trimmed the number of teachers to serve as Board of Election Inspectors. From 25,000 teachers in the previous election, only 10,000 will be tapped to serve this year's election.

" This is due to the increased number of clustering. This time, we have seven precincts per cluster unlike before that we only grouped two precincts per cluster," he explained.

Comelec, this early, is now holding voters' education around the region. However, the national office only sent one machine to be used as sample machine in all provinces of Region XI.

Every province takes turn in using the machine for demonstration purposes especially on how to feed the ballot.

The Comelec official stressed that voters need not worry on the technical aspect of the elections. Rather, what they need to know is the general instruction on how to vote that includes the proper way of shading the ballot.

In Davao del Norte, barangay officials committed to allot a certain space in the barangay hall where voters will be taught the proper way of voting.

Comelec intends to do the same in Davao City and neighboring provinces. (PIA XI) [top]

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