By Mayen Jaymalin | The Philippine Star
MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) is planning to increase to over 100,000 the number of polling precincts for the May 2022 elections.
The move aims to prevent overcrowding in polling precincts and ensure that the voting will not spawn super spreader events for the COVID-19 virus.
“Before, we have about 85,000 clustered precincts. Now, our estimate is we will be having 100,000 to 105,000,” Comelec spokesman James Jimenez said during a forum on Friday.
Jimenez said the poll body is planning to assign about 800 voters per precinct.
The Comelec, Jimenez said, sees the need to increase the number of polling precincts as more voters are expected to participate in next year’s elections.
“The number of registered voters in 2019 was 61 million. Now, we already have 60 million,” Jimenez said, noting that voter registration is still ongoing.
He said the poll body is taking into consideration the observance of physical distancing among voters to prevent the spread of COVID.
“We don’t want voters to crowd the polling precincts. There should be social distancing inside the polling places,” Jimenez said.
There were 389,703 established precincts grouped into 85,769 clustered precincts during the 2019 midterm elections.
Each clustered precinct had one vote counting machine manned by the Board of Election Inspectors.