Prepare for May 9, the day 67.4 million Filipino voters will go to the voting precincts.
Whether you’re a first-time voter or have voted in many elections, it’s still a must to review the dos and don’ts in casting your vote.
Can you wear your candidate’s shirt? Can you, out of genuine concern, give the poll watchers hand fans with a candidate’s face or name? Can you distribute some candies, ball pens, bags, and other merchandize with a candidate’s color or name?
Here’s a primer so that you can complete the voting procedures without interruption:
On what the voter can wear:
Commission on Elections (Comelec) Commissioner George Erwin M. Garcia in an interview made last April 20 said that voters should not wear clothes and accessories with the names and faces of candidates at the polling precincts.
“Campaigning po ‘yun kaya bawal. Iwasan po natin ito (That’s campaigning, and that is why it is prohibited. Let’s avoid this).
Although there are no specific guidelines in the Comelec resolutions regarding a voters’ clothing or its color, the resolution prohibits “publishing, displaying or distributing campaign literature or materials designed to support or oppose the election; of any candidate.”
When campaigning stops:
The Commission on Elections (Comelec), in its Resolution No. 10730, said it is unlawful for any person or for any political party, or association of persons to engage in an election campaign or partisan political activity on the eve of election day (May 8) and on election day (May 9).
After arrival at the polling precinct, individuals should immediately proceed to the voters’ assistance desk (VAD) to present their identification card or complete name written on a piece of paper.
Voters should bring their own pens.
If the voter already knows his/her precinct number, he/she should proceed there. While waiting for one’s turn to vote, the voter should go to the holding area located near the voter’s designated polling place. The voter can also opt to wait in line, observing a one-meter distance from the others in the line.
After voting, one’s finger will be stained with election ink.
Leave the polling place immediately.
Observe health and safety protocols:
Before entering the polling area, a voter must wear a face mask, step on a foot bath, check one’s temperature, and observe a physical distance of one meter when in line with other voters.
Do not talk to anyone inside the polling area.
Do not take photos of the ballot with a mobile phone or any device.
Do not tear the ballot.
Do not disrupt the operations of the vote-counting machine (VCM).
Do not put any distinguishing marks or erasures on the ballot.
Do not bring the ballot, ballot secrecy folder, or marking pens outside the polling area.
Do not distribute campaign literature or materials (even hand fans!) designed to support or oppose the election of any candidate, as stated in Section 1 of Comelec Resolution No. 10730 and Section 66 of Comelec Resolution No. 10727.
Voters who violate any of the provisions in the said resolutions will face corresponding administrative penalties imposed after due notice and hearing, Section 99 of the Resolution said.