Comelec: Voting takes less than 2 minutes

VOTING this year won’t take more than two minutes based on the time and motion study and the streamlining of the election process.

Commission on Elections (Comelec)-Northern Mindanao Director Noli Pipo said the time and motion study starts when a voter faces the board of election inspector (BEI) who verifies one's identity and until the voting process is completed.

“It starts when a voter faces the BEI, the name is asked, the signing on the Election Day Computerized Voters List (EDCVL); to shading and feeding the ballots to the PCOS machine; and putting the indelible ink, it should not take more than two minutes,” Pipo explained.

Part of the streamlining of the election will be using only one EDCVL, and thumb mark won’t be required anymore.

This assurance has been guaranteed after the Comele clustered more precincts in the 2013 elections as compared to the 2010 elections.

Pipo said the BEIs have been warned on voters who delay the election process to disenfranchise the elections. The BEIs have been trained to spot this kind of voters.

He said that in the past, some politicians resort to hoarding their voters early in the precinct centers to delay the process, so others cannot vote.

“We have already studied this scenario. The BEIs have been trained to spot this tactic and put a stop to it, so everyone can vote.”

The May 13, 2013 elections will open at 7 a.m. and will close at 7 p.m.

“At 7 p.m., the BEI will call the roll of the voters outside the precinct center and will list those who are still outside waiting to vote,” Pipo said.

In 2010 elections, some precincts closed as late as 11 p.m. It was the first time the country held an automated election and lessons had been drawn from it.

“In this election, the precinct will not close the voting until all those who are in the list during the roll call at 7 p.m. can vote,” Pipo added.

Voter’s responsibility

“The voters should be prepared with the list of who they want to vote for and it should include the corresponding numbers of their candidates,” Pipo said.

The real challenge, according to Pipo, is choosing the party-list since the Comelec has randomized the party-list number. There are 123 party-lists in the 2013 election.

Pipo said the electorates should vote and choose their leaders correctly and that change can only happen when they use their right to vote by choosing their leaders for the next three years.

“Baklas Team”

Campaign materials posted in areas prohibited by the Comelec have been removed beginning Friday last week following the strict implementation of the 2013 election code.

Political candidates have been urged to observe the proper placement of campaign materials as Comelec has begun to remove posters that violate the election code on Friday last week.

Pipo said a Comelec “baklas team” has started to remove these campaign materials following the Implementing Rules and regulation of the 2013 midterm elections.

“We have instructed our election officers across the region to start the removal of posters placed outside the common poster areas and list the violators for appropriate legal actions,” he said.

Pipo reminded the Comelec officials to strictly follow the protocol in the operations of the removal of posters, saying: “They should not operate without the presence of the police for their safety, and the police should not remove posters without the presence of Comelec, for their guidance.”

Politicians are allowed to use posters that should not exceed the dimension of two feet in height, three feet in length, and the three feet by eight feet for the headquarters use.

Pipo said politicians should brief their party workers on the proper placement of posters.

“Posting on government vehicles; trees; waiting sheds; lamp and street posts; transport terminals like airports, seaports and bus terminals or in school buildings, shrines and barangay halls and other public structures like pedestrian overpass and underpass, flyover, bridges and main thoroughfares are strictly prohibited,” Pipo said.

Public vehicles, particularly those with government plates, must not be used for political activities or campaigns.

Any candidates who will be found violating Republic Act 9006 or Fair Election Act of 2001 will be disqualified.

Pipo advised the candidates to check their local Comelec office of the common poster areas. Though, he admitted that it will be doubly difficult to remove all posters, especially during the last two weeks of the campaign period.

“It has been a pattern that the closer the election gets, the more campaign materials will be posted everywhere. It is difficult to stop them as politicians believe that the ‘name recall’ factor is potent as voters decide who to vote on elections day,” he said.

Trainings Ended

All the trainings for the Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) technicians and supervisors, board of canvassers, board of election inspectors and the random audit teams in the region ended last Saturday. The trainings began on February 25.

In Northern Mindanao, there have been no reported PCOS machines that conked out during the training.

“But that doesn’t mean that we are not discounting any malfunction on the elections day. There are contingency plans for any situations we think we can encounter,” Pipo said.

There are at least 100 PCOS machines used in the training in the region.
Bobby Lagsa
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