TO EDUCATE voters on the proper use of election receipts, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) conducted a barangay–based Vote Count Machine Demo education throughout the Cordilleras.
“Since the Supreme Court’s decision that the Comelec should issue election receipts on March, we started the demonstrations immediately,” Vanessa Roncal, assistant director of Comelec-Cordillera Administrative Region, told Sun.Star Baguio.
Roncal said thorough information dissemination is needed to prevent voters’ from taking the receipts out.
“We have to educate them that the receipts are election paraphernalia which cannot be taken out and if there will be a complaint na akala nila mali yung nai-print sa receipt nila we will explain to them the possible consequences of raising frivolous complaints, kasi baka mamaya plano lang nilang manggulo,” Roncal added.
Election violators will face a penalty of not less than one to six years imprisonment.
“If they have complaints regarding the receipts they have to approach the election inspectors and they must write a letter of their complaints,” Roncal said.
Roncal clarified no new ballots will be issued to those who have committed mistakes in their ballots.
During the VCM education drive, voters were taught to be aware and be responsible this coming elections.
“We are doing a demo on shading of ballots, proper insertion of ballots in the VCM. We also advice them to read their ballots first before putting it in the machine,” Roncal explained.
She advised the public to not bring image taking devices in the polling precincts.
“Pinapaalala din po namin na hindi pwedeng kuhanan ng picture yung kanilang balota because it is an election offense, at mas better pa siguro kung magdala na lang sila ng kodigo or list kung sino yung mga iboboto nila para mas mapadali yung pagboto nila,” Roncal said.
The VCM education drive is currently ongoing in all barangays in the region while demonstrations are conducted at the Comelec office.
Roncal is optimistic there will be a peaceful election in the
Cordilleras, especially in Baguio City. (With report from Princess Dela Cruz, Collegio De Dagupan Intern)