Saturday, May 25, 2019

27 special poll precincts for inmates

AROUND 27 special polling precincts will be established in the south district of Cebu City during the May 13 elections for some 2,560 registered voter-inmates of the Cebu City Jail and the Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center (CPDRC).

Vote counting machines (VCM), though, will not be brought inside the detention facilities as counting of votes will only be held in regular polling precincts.

“The EBs (electoral boards) will bring ballots sa special voting place sa sulod sa (inside the) prison compound, then didto sila mobotar (they will vote there). After nila mobotar (After voting), the special EBs will bring those filled up ballots sa presinto para didto i-feed sa VCM (to the precincts to feed into the vote counting machines),” said Commission on Elections (Comelec) Acting Cebu Provincial Elections Supervisor Jerome Brillantes on Friday, March 15.

Just like in regular polling precincts, the inmates have until 3 p.m. of Monday, May 13, to cast their votes for both national and local candidates.

Brillantes said the ballots are “precinct-specific,” meaning that even if the special EBs will have to travel to the regular precincts for counting, the chances of swapping ballot boxes are unlikely.

Promulgated last Jan. 16, Comelec Supplemental Resolution 10482 provides the rules and regulations for the voting, counting and canvassing for persons deprived of liberty (PDL).

A PDL refers to a detainee, inmate or prisoner or other person under confinement or custody in other manner.

Section 1 of the resolution provides that special polling places shall be established in jails or prison facilities with at least 50 registered PDL voters who are registered as such in the municipality or city where the detention facility is located.

In a separate interview, Comelec Cebu City south district election assistant Kate Dy said there are around 1,618 registered voters in the Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center, while there are 942 registered voters at the City Jail.

Dy added that since both facilities are located in Barangay Kalunasan, the Comelec south district has prepared some 27 special polling precincts for the detainees.

According to CPDRC Warden Reynaldo Valmoria, the facility is currently housing at least 3,134 inmates.

Jail Warden Renante Rubio said there are 5,760 inmates in the Cebu City Jail.


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