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PIA Press Release

Comelec calls on barangay officials to train elderly, illiterates to shade oval

by JM Duron-Abangan

Tagum City (4 March) -- Commission on Election (COMELEC) provincial election officer Atty. Marlon Casquejo called on barangay officials to initiate ways of training illiterates on oval shading.

Atty. Casquejo made the call as fears of ballot ejection might occur during automated counting because oval shading slips beyond the security mark, rendering filled-in ballots, invalid.

He said this concern came out during the information road shows that COMELEC XI had conducted.

COMELEC XI had been through with its information drive in Davao del Norte, Davao Oriental, and Davao del Sur but it is yet to finish its barangay-to-barangay information road-show in Davao City.

In casting votes for this year's first automated national and local elections, voters will no longer write names of candidates but will just shade the ovals corresponding their chosen candidates.

Casquejo encouraged barangay official together with their functionaries to practice the elderly and those who feel uncomfortable with holding pens how to shade ovals.

"Practice shading dili lang sa panahon na sa eleksiyon," Atty. Casquejo said while noting that some are not used to holding ballpens.. "Ang uban lagaraw, bolo lang ang naandan nga gunitan," he added.

Casquejo pointed out the importance of ably shading ovals because, on election day, voters who would claim that they are illiterates would not be granted assistance unless they have indicated upon registration, their state of being so.

"Sa ilang pagpa-rehistro dapat nakalagay nga illiterate (sila)," he said.

He emphasized that only the disabled and those with "apparent disability" which would get in the way of properly casting their votes can be provided with an assistor.

Aside from the three assistors assigned for every clustered precinct, members of the Board of Election Inspectors are also allowed to guide voters with disability who would seek help in filling up their ballots. (PIA XI) [top]

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