The Manila Times : Comelec eyes alternative polling

24 September 2021

By Bernadette E. Tamayo | The Manila Times

THE Commission on Elections (Comelec) is looking into the possibility of using "open spaces" such as covered courts as polling precincts next year to comply with health protocols, an official of the poll body said on Thursday.

Teopisto Elnas, deputy executive director for operations of the poll body, attended the virtual hearing of the Joint Congressional Oversight Committee on Automated Election System on the preparations for the 2022 national elections.

The Comelec has been coordinating with the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases in preparing for the safe conduct of the polls amid the pandemic.

The poll body is looking at the possibility of allowing 800 voters per cluster precinct to avoid overcrowding.

"We are looking at covered courts in barangay (villages)," Elnas said.

However, he noted that there will be procedures that must be followed under the Omnibus Election Code.

Elnas said the Comelec has yet to "fix the date for the conduct of the simulation of voting."

Comelec representatives discussed the new normal manual, particularly the questions raised by the House of Representatives contingent on the manner of campaigning, voting, counting and finalizing the results.