Comelec sees high turnout of voters in Davao Region

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DAVAO CITY — The Commission on Elections in Davao Region (Comelec-11) expects more than 80 percent of the 2.8 million voters in Region 11 will cast votes on Monday’s election.

Lawyer Michael Abbas, the Regional Director of Comelec-11, said a higher voter turnout is anticipated because of the extended time of voting from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Voters who are inside the polling places are still allowed to cast votes after 6 p.m.

Abbas said Comelec is all set for the May 13 elections with only two of the 50 voting counting machines (VCMs) checked by Comelec were found defective.

“We have discovered some defects but these are just manageable. We were able to fix 48 out of 50. Rest assured na maayos na ito (these will be fixed),” Abbas said in a phone interview on Sunday.

Abbas, however, assured there is nothing to worry because there are extra VCMs for contingency provided in all provincial and city election offices.

Comelec, through the city, municipal and provincial treasurer’s office, will be deploying all the official ballots on the day of the election except in far-flung areas where official ballots can be deployed before the election day.

Abbas said Comelec has installed a total of 3,700 VCM’s in all precincts across the region.

Comelec has also deployed voter registration verification machine (VRVM), a new feature for this year’s election, with Davao City and Davao del Sur as two of the eight pilot areas in the country.

The VRVM will automate the system of verifying voter registration at the polling precinct instead of using the printed copies of Election Day Computerized Voters List (EDCVL) before a voter is given the ballot on election day.

Abbas said the EDCVL will be used as a reference in case the name of the voter did not show up on the machine.

“Sa VRVM hindi na titingan voters list susubukin na ang fringerprints bago bibigyan ng ballots (In using the VRVM, there is no need to check in the voters’ list but through the fingerprints before voters are given the official ballots),” he stressed.

Abbas said the VRVM system would prevent flying voters.

“I am confident that in Region 11, we have a clean list of voters per polling precinct,” he added.

This year is the fourth time that the country will be holding automated polls nationwide, following the 2010 and 2016 presidential and 2013 mid-term elections. -PNA

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