MANILA, Philippines — Over 61 million registered Filipino voters are expected to flock to polling precincts Monday to elect 18,072 government officials in the May midterm elections.
According to the Commission on Elections (Comelec), voters will be electing the following:
- 12 senators
- 245 members of the House of Representatives
- 81 governors and vice governors
- 780 members of the Provincial Board
- 145 city mayors and vice mayors
- 1,628 city councilors
- 1,489 municipal mayors and vice mayors
- 11,916 municipal councilors
Voters are urged to go out early to avoid long queues at polling precincts, which will open at 6 a.m. and close at 6 p.m.
Voting time was extended to allow for the introduction of the Voter Registration Verification Machines (VRVMs), a fingerprint scanning technology designed to avoid flying voters.
The VRMs will be tested in all polling precincts in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, Manila, and Quezon City and in selected polling precincts in Cavite, Nueva Ecija, Cebu, Negros Occidental, Zamboanga del Sur, and Davao del Sur.
85,768 vote counting machines
The Comelec said it will use 85,768 Vote Counting Machines (VCMs), which are fewer from the 92,000 VCMs used in the 2016 elections.
According to Comelec Director Teopisto Elnas Jr., deputy project director of the poll body’s Project Management Office, this is because the number of registered voters in a clustered precinct has been increased from 800 voters to 1,000 per clustered precinct.
READ: Comelec explains use of fewer counting machines for 2019 polls
Another 7,000 VCMs will be on standby as a contingency measure, the Comelec official noted.
The poll body also reminded voters to shade the ovals in the ballots 100 percent to be sure that the machines would read the ballot.
The 61,843,771 registered voters should take care of their ballots as there would only be one ballot per voter.
READ: Comelec: One voter, one ballot
Proclamation in 2 weeks
Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez earlier said the proclamation of the winning senators and party-list representatives might happen within two weeks after the polls.
The poll body is looking to proclaim all the 12 winning senators at the same time, as it did in the 2016 elections, according to Jimenez.
Meanwhile, the proclamation of local candidates may happen 24 to 36 hours after election day.
READ: Comelec: Proclamation of winning senators ‘roughly within 2 weeks’ after May 13
The National Board of Canvassers will convene at 3 p.m. Monday at the PICC Forum in Pasay.
The overseas voting, meanwhile, started last April 13 and will end 6 p.m. Monday (Manila time) with the Special Board of Canvassers, which will conduct the consolidation and manual canvassing of votes for overseas Filipinos, simultaneously convening from different embassies and posts abroad.
Monday’s elections will be the country’s fourth automated polls — after those held in 2010, 2013 and in 2016.
Comelec: Random manual audit to start May 15
Online precinct finder finally operational — DICT
(Editor: Alexander T. Magno)
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