Philippines – The Commission on Elections is 100 percent ready for the elections today.
Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista said they are even more prepared compared to previous polls. “If you look at the preparations of the Comelec, we are more prepared now than in 2013,” he said.
James Jimenez, Comelec Spokesman, echoed the poll chief. “We feel that on Election Day, we will be 100 percent ready to conduct the elections,” he said.
Jimenez said even the result of the final testing and sealing of the vote counting machines was good although there were some minor glitches. “As soon as we get all final results will report that to you,” he said.
As of Saturday, Jimenez said those that need to be deployed have been deployed especially in far-flung areas. “The machines, supplies and people are already in placed…we are ready. We are just waiting for the day,” he said.
The poll official assured that they have contingency measures in case problems crop up such as the Board of Election Inspectors not reporting for election duty, among others. “It’s one of the usual problems, the BEI not showing up on Election Day for various reasons. Its either some of them get sick, some of them suddenly realize that they are related to a candidate, or they just don’t want to report for work. We have a contingency measure for that,” said Jimenez.
Jimenez reminded voters to prepare their list of candidates to make the voting process faster and avoid long queues. “We encourage everyone to prepare a list of the people they want to vote. Why? To speed up the voting process,” Jimenez said.
He also asked voters not to overvote as their vote for that particular position will not be counted. “You can abstain, you can undervote but don’t overvote. You will be surprised that up until now many are still asking if they vote for 13 senators, can we just count the first 12? That is not possible because how are we supposed to know which is the first 12?” said Jimenez, adding that voters should not fold, crumple, or wet the ballot.
“Don’t use other markers except the official marker. The problem with other markers is that there is a chance that it will not be read by the machine even if you cover the whole oval unlike if you use the official marker,” Jimenez said.
Voting centers will open at 6 a.m. and will close at 5 p.m.
Voters just have to show up and cast their ballot today as the government assured that all is set for the conduct of peaceful and credible elections, Malacañang said yesterday.
From ensuring intensified security preparations and stable power supply, Malacañang declared that appropriate measures are in place to ensure the national and local elections would be held without glitches.
“In the aspect of security, the Armed Forces and the Philippine National Police are prepared to help the Commission on Elections to ensure the peaceful and orderly elections on Monday,” Coloma said in Filipino over government radio.
“There is continuing coordination between the Department of Energy and energy sector providers to make sure there is enough power supply during the elections across the country,” he added.
He said the Department of Education has also expressed readiness of school buildings that will be used as polling precincts. Public school teachers who will serve as election inspectors have also been mobilized to their posts.
Various citizen watchdog groups and other concerned volunteers have offered their time to help the poll body ensure the integrity of the May ballot, Coloma added.
“This is not just a project of the Comelec and the government. It is important for the people to show bayanihan and share the responsibility to ensure the integrity of the national elections,” he added. (Leslie Ann G. Aquino and Genalyn D. Kabiling)