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Comelec eyeing 105K precincts for Eleksyon 2022; face shield still a requirement in voting — spox

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) is eyeing around 105,000 poll precincts for the coming May elections.

This was disclosed Wednesday by Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez as he explained the poll body’s preparations for the conduct of the 2022 elections amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are looking at 105,000 precincts. That is up from only around 80,000 nung nakaraang halalan (from the last elections in) 2019,” Jimenez said during the Kapihan sa Manila Bay virtual forum.

He said the Comelec prefers to set up poll precincts in public schools but not all classrooms will be used considering the social distancing protocol.

Face shields

Moreover, Jimenez said that voters are still required to wear face shields based on their latest guidelines.

“‘Di kayo papayagan bumoto nang hindi kayo naka-face mask and unfortunately nang hindi kayo naka-face shield,” he said.

(You won’t be allowed to vote if you are not wearing a face mask and unfortunately, if you are not wearing a face shield.)

“Alam ko na maraming nagrereklamo na may face shield pa rin kami pero hindi pa po tinatanggal ‘yung face shield requirement,” he added.

(I know many will complain about the face shields but we have not removed that requirement yet.)

Jimenez said the Comelec is consulting with the Department of Health with regard to the face shield policy for the May 9, 2022 elections.

“Again, it is still there, it is till in our requirements na naka-face shield (that they should still wear face shields),” he said.

Also part of their preparations is another “end-to-end” demonstration of the automated election system for Eleksyon 2022, Jimenez said.

This came after the poll body encountered problems in the result format during the mock polls in December.

“It was a problem with the report format natin. The data was there pero hindi mo siya makikita nang madali parang magki-click ka pa ng dalawa, tatlo pa bago mo makita yung precinct results but the results were there,” he said.

(It was a problem with the report format. The data was there but you can’t see it immediately because you have to click the machine twice or thrice before you could see the precinct result but the results were there.)

“So, inayos na po ‘yan and again we are looking forward to another end to end demonstration maybe, some time in February para makita ng stakeholders natin na naayos na po ‘yan,” he said.

(So that was already fixed and we are looking forward to another end to end demonstration maybe some time in February so that our stakeholders could see that we have addressed it already.)

Last January 13, the Comelec had conducted a second trusted build to correct issues in two software components of the automated election system found during the mock elections last December.

The 2022 national and local elections is set on May 9, 2022. — RSJ, GMA News