Done with numbers-A A +A
Saturday, February 23, 2013
THE Cebu Provincial Election Office yesterday announced that it will no longer give out priority numbers in the May 13 elections.
Provincial Election Officer Ferdinand Gujilde said the decision is meant to get rid of the misconception that the Board of Election Inspectors (BEI) favors certain voters or the candidates they support.
“Ang mahitabo maglinya gyud (People will have to stand in line),” he said.
Gujilde said the BEIs have been given some leeway to decide on their own on how to manage lines and crowds.
Giving out priority numbers was a strategy to avoid long lines but several sectors have cast doubts on the scheme.
Gujilde said one allegation was that a supporter of a candidate, which the BEI does not favor, would be given a higher number compared to someone who supports a favored bet.
“These are all speculations,” Gujilde said.
The Commission on Elections (Comelec) also decided that 10 voters will be allowed inside the polling place at one time. Five of these voters will come from the priority group that includes senior citizens, pregnant voters and persons with disability. The other five will be in the regular voters’ lane.
In the last election, only senior citizens were allowed in the priority lane, which delayed the process.
Gujilde said the management of the voting depends on the BEI. Personally, he said, he was in favor of priority numbers.
“I always liken politicians to a jealous spouse. No matter how much assurance you give them, they will never be satisfied. They will always doubt.
So, usa ka step para mawala ang ilang doubt is ang pagtangtang sa priority numbers (To erase their doubts, we had to do away with the priority numbers),” Gujilde told reporters.
He advised voters to be early on election day. “Be early and bring a lot of patience,” he added.
For this year’s elections, Comelec will group seven precincts in one cluster, compared to only five in the May 2010 polls.
The limit in the number of voters, though, is still 1,000.
The Comelec reminded voters that the polling center is in the school, precinct refers to the territory or the address of the voters, and the polling place refers to the classroom.
Voters can check their polling place by visiting Comelec’s website or calling the election office.
A “voter’s information sheet” will be given to the voter the day before the election. Gujilde said this is a quick guide for the voters.
He said voters may have problems finding their names if their registrations have been deactivated or if they do not know where their polling places are.
Volunteers of the Cebu-Citizens’ Involvement and Maturation in People’s Empowerment and Liberation (C-Cimpel) can assist voters.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 23, 2013.