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Comelec conducts training on use of vote counting machine

By Mark A. Gomez and Paulo DS Papa

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) in Camarines Sur conducted an instructors’ training on the proper use of the enhanced Vote Counting Machines (VCMs) that will be used in the 2022 elections at the agency’s regional office in Legazpi City on Dec. 8-9.

Lawyer Maico Julia Jr., Comelec Naga City chief and concurrent Comelec Camarines Sur spokesperson, said the primary purpose of the training was to orient and teach the trainees about the technical operation of the enhanced VCMs so that they can better educate and guide the members of the electoral boards and election personnel about the operation of the machines.

Julia said that the VCMs that will be used in next year elections are the same machines used in 2019 polls. The VCMs were already upgraded with enhanced security and made more user-friendly.

Julia said that during the training, the VCMs operated perfectly and no technical glitches were observed.

He said that to ensure the health and safety of voters, the number of maximum voters per precinct will be reduced to 800.

VCM TRAINING (Left to right) Comelec Caramoan chief Dennis N. Gomez, staff Francis Escalona, Atty. Maico Julia and Comelec Minalabac chief Jessie Reyes during the training on the use of VCMs.

Julia added that in compliance to Covid-19 protocols, voters will be required to wear face shields, masks and observe physical distancing during the voting. The voting hours will also be extended from 6:00 AM to 7:00 PM.

Designated election marshals will also be on-site to enforce the Covid-19 protocols. Medical, Army and police personnel will also be stationed near voting areas to ensure peace and order.

Meanwhile, in Naga City, the poll body delisted some 710 registered voters. This number is composed of: six voters who are already dead; 211 who transferred their registration to other places; 482 voters with double registration; and 11 voters with double entries.

Julia in an interview told Bicol Mail that voters with double registration are individuals registered in two Comelec stations as identified via fingerprint identification system. He added, these voters were deactivated because lawfully only one vote per voter is allowed and counted.

Voters with double entries, he said refer to voters who were registered twice in the same station.

He clarified that the number of deactivated voters, which is minimal, will not affect the result of the May 2022 elections.

Comelec record shows that Naga City has 116,771 registered voters including the 4,124 new registrants consisting of 2,451 new registration; 1,044 voters who transferred their registrations; 96 voters who transferred within the same city and/or municipalities; 104 voters who transferred with reactivation; 32 voters who transferred with reactivation and correction of entries; 14 voters who transferred with correction of entries; 288 voters reactivated; 71 voters who reactivated with correction of entries; 23 voters who changed their names and one who transferred from post to local.

He said the number of voters in the city increased by about 12,000 this year. Last 2019 elections, Naga City had 105,000 voters.


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