The Legal Network for Truthful Elections (Lente) has called for another voting simulation.
The group issued the call citing the low voter turnout in the Commission on Elections (Comelec) voting simulation exercise last Oct. 23 at San Juan Elementary School.
In a statement on Wednesday, Lente said, the primary purpose of the simulation was to facilitate a time and motion study, but this was not achieved due to low voter turnout (11.31 percent) and missing election day stakeholders.
“With this level of voter participation, we are unable to assess if the newly-introduced safety measures, such as the holding rooms and Isolation Polling Place, are enough to ensure the health and safety of all election stakeholders,” said Lente Policy Consultant Atty. Helen Graido.
Ona Caritos, Executive Director of Lente, said a single round of simulation is not enough “to give us a clear picture of Election Day 2022, and we need to be prepared in the interest of democracy, public health and safety.”
She added that the scope of participants in the future simulations should also be widened.
As one of the observers in voting simulation exercise, Lente also proposed deploying separate priority lanes for voters who are members of the vulnerable sectors and voters who exhibit symptoms on the day of elections; the triaging process be designed and consulted with health experts, given the expected volume on Election Day and limited manpower; and deployment of additional support staff among others.
“We look forward to Comelec considering and applying our recommendations not just in future simulations, but most importantly on election day itself,” said Caritos.
“A safe, accountable, transparent, and inclusive election, this is what the Filipino voters want and deserve,” she added.