Do’s and don’ts in polling precincts
MANILA, Philippines — As the more than 65 million registered voters troop to the voting precincts today to elect national and local officials, here are some do’s and don’ts not only to ensure that the votes are counted but to be safe amid the threat of COVID-19.
This year’s elections will be slightly different from previous ones as the Commission on Elections (Comelec) and authorities implement health and safety protocols amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Before heading out to the precinct, voters are advised to prepare a list of who they will vote for. This can prevent mistakes, such as shading the oval appearing before the name of the candidate they do not wish to vote for or making accidental markings on ballots.
Make a list
Making a list of candidates can also help voters get to know more about the candidates and their platforms.
Voters can visit the profiles of each presidential, vice presidential and senatorial candidate — including party list groups — on Vote Pilipinas’ website at votepilipinas.com/index.html. Vote Pilipinas is the official voter information campaign partner of Comelec.
Here are some of the things to keep in mind:
• Vaccination cards, confirmatory swab tests, and face shields are not required at polling stations.
• If your temperature is 37.5°C or higher, you will be examined by health personnel.
• If it is determined that you have a fever or if you show COVID-19 symptoms, you will be led to an isolation polling place where you can cast your vote away from other voters. Otherwise, you can proceed to the assistance desk where you will get your precinct and your sequence numbers.
• Go to your assigned precinct. You will be given a pen, a “secrecy folder” and your ballot, which you will accomplish by fully shading the oval appearing before the name of the candidate of your choice.
• Do not bring any campaign material inside the polling precinct.
No unnecessary marks
• Do not overvote. Overvoting, or shading more than the allowed number of candidates for the post, will invalidate all your votes for that position. Do not mark ovals with X or a check.
• Do not make unnecessary marks on your ballot so the vote-counting machine could read it properly.
• Do not take pictures of the accomplished ballot.
• After you fill out your ballot, insert it into the vote-counting machine and check your voter’s receipt before depositing it in the receptacle.
• Return the ballot secrecy folder and the marking pen to the election board.
• An election officer is required to make an indelible ink mark on one of your fingers, normally the forefinger, to indicate that you have cast your ballot.
• Persons with disability, senior citizens, and people who are illiterate can be assisted in filling up their ballots by a relative or another person who belongs to the person’s household like a caregiver or personal assistant who should be of voting age.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.