Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Comelec sets up express lanes for old, sick, clueless voters

By Leila Salaverria
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 04:01:00

Filed Under: Eleksyon 2010, Elections, Senior Citizens, Disabled

Original Story: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/inquirerheadlines/nation/view/20100317-259147/Comelec-sets-up-express-lanes-for-old-sick-clueless-voters

MANILA, Philippines—Fear not the digital age.

Help is forthcoming for senior citizens, disabled people, pregnant women and the clueless who are apprehensive about the country’s first nationwide automated elections on May 10.

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has ordered the setting up of express lanes or conveniently placed polling places for the old, the infirm and expectant mothers “for humanitarian considerations” in order to give them a hassle-free voting experience.

In its resolution released Tuesday, the poll body said the voting areas for these people should be on the ground floor. If not, they should have their own lanes.

It also noted that it decided to provide special treatment to these vulnerable groups upon the request of Senior Citizens party-list Rep. Godofredo Arquiza and the Federation of Malabon Senior Citizens Association and the Persons with Disabilities of the City of Malabon.

Help desks

For the confused or the clueless, the Comelec in another resolution directed the creation of election day help desks in all polling centers, to be manned by members of its citizens’ arm, the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV).

The PPCRV personnel staffing the desk would be tasked with assisting voters in finding their precinct numbers, their sequence number in the list of voters and the location of the polling place itself.

They are to provide instructions to voters on how to fill out the ballots, as well as the dos and don’ts they should follow. They should teach voters, in a simplified manner, how the voting process works.

The preferential treatment would form part of the instructions to the board of election inspectors.

The Comelec also directed all election officers to coordinate with their local school administrators, local government units and representatives of citizens’ arms and nongovernment organizations in facilitating the assistance program.

Under the country’s first automated polls, the voters would not be required to write the names of their chosen candidates.

Instead, the ballots would contain the names of all the candidates, and the voters would just need to fully shade an oval next to the name of their preferred bet. The voter would then have to feed the ballot into a counting machine, to be placed in all voting centers.

1,000 voters per machine

But the voters are cautioned against choosing more candidates than necessary for a position, lest their votes for that position be invalidated. For instance, they should only choose one president, one representative and only 12 senators.

Each polling center is expected to have more voters than usual since the Comelec clustered several precincts, which would be using the same counting machine. Each machine is to be used by up to 1,000 voters.

Original Story: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/inquirerheadlines/nation/view/20100317-259147/Comelec-sets-up-express-lanes-for-old-sick-clueless-voters

No comments:

Post a Comment