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Comelec conducts mock polls in 4 Albay precincts

By Mar S. Arguelles

LEGAZPI CITY --- The Commission on Elections (Comelec) in Bicol conducted a mock election in four polling centers in Albay, one of the three provinces in Luzon chosen by the commission to hold the simulated exercise.

Lawyer Maria Aurea Bo-Bunao, Comelec Albay provincial chief, said the province was picked together with Pasay City in the National Capital Region (NCR) and Kawayan town in Isabela in Region 2 as the designated areas for the national mock election.

She said the mock polls were conducted in barangays Ilawod West and Tamaoyan in Legaszpi City and barangays Banawab and Caratagan in Pio Duran with a total of 400 registered voters.

Bunao said the designated voting centers were the Albay Central School and Tamaoyan Elementary Schools in Legazpi City, Pio Duran West Central School, and Pio Duran East Central School in Pio Duran town.

She said the vote counting machines (VCMs) were set up between 6:00 – 7:00 AM and the simulated voting ended at 12:00 noon. The canvassing and transmission of votes were done from 12:00 – 1:00 PM.

Bunao in an interview said the exercise aimed to test the security, accuracy, systems, and capability of the VCMs, transmission devices, and the consolidation and canvassing systems operation for the May 9, 2022 national and local elections.

She further said that it was also intended to develop public confidence and acceptance of the electorates of the Automated Election System (AES).

The exercise also validated the use of the planned health and safety protocols to be implemented against Covid-19 for next year elections.

The four voting centers have triage areas manned by frontliners to do temperature screening and accomplishment of health declaration forms. A voter assistance desk was also provided to assist voters. A designated isolation room was also established where individuals suspected of having Covid-19 symptoms cast their votes.

Plastic barrier at the voting booths were also installed. Alcohol and bath mats were provided on the premises and the voters were asked to wear facemasks.

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