By Martin Sadongdong
The deadline for Monday’s midterm elections voting will not likely be extended, according to the Commission on Elections (Comelec).
This was stressed by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) which stressed that the 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. voting hours would be “strictly” implemented by the poll officials.
“We feel that extension is not necessary,” Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez said.
“The voting hours, by design, are already flexible,” he added.
However, the Comelec official explained that voters, who arrived at the polling precinct at exactly 6 p.m. but have yet to undergo some necessary procedures will still be able to cast their votes.
“If you’re already there at 6 p.m. and you’re able to get your name on the list, then you will be able to complete your voting process no matter how long it takes,” Jimenez noted.
“There is no necessity for taking on additional hours. That will only benefit the late-comers,” he stressed.
The voting hours for this year’s midterm polls was actually longer compared to what had been set by the Comelec during the 2016 elections.
The voting period during the 2016 midterm elections was from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m.
However, there have been reports that some polling precincts opened late because of several issues, thus, raising the clamor for an extension of the voting period.
The issues include the delay in the shipment of vote counting machines (VCMs) especially in areas in Caraga region (northern and northeastern Mindanao) and Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM); the malfunctioning VCMs, voter registration verification machines (VRVMs) and SD cards.
Teachers backing out from their poll duties was also among the many issues expected by the Comelec.