Comelec: Beware of voters who take too long to vote

By Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 03 2010 03:06 PM | Updated as of May 04 2010 03:19 AM

MANILA, Philippines - The Commission on Elections (Comelec) held on Monday a command conference with its senior officials, department heads, regional directors, the military, police, Smartmatic-TIM for final preparation instructions on the final leg of its preparations for the polls.

Poll automation steering committee chairman Commissioner Gregorio Larrazabal and Education and Information Director James Jimenez said the concerns focused on the completion of deliveries of all election paraphernalia, as well as the final testing and sealing which should be accomplished 3 to 7  days before elections.

The Comelec also announced to the public supposedly reliable information that some groups are out to discredit the automated polls with plans to deliberately delay the voting so as to discredit the entire process and make results "malleable" to whatever end they want.

The Comelec said it has instructed the Board of Election Inspectors (BEIs) to be vigilant against these individuals and to call the attention of voters who are suspiciously taking too long to vote.

The Comelec said that based on their time in motion studies, the longest average time to vote is 7 to 8 minutes. Therefore, the attention of voters who will go beyond 10 minutes will already be called by the BEIs.

The Comelec warned that disrupting the smooth conduct of the polls is an election offense and will be dealt with appropriately, and if need be, the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) can be summoned by the BEIs to assist them in maintaining order inside the voting precincts.  

El Shaddai leader Mariano "Bro. Mike" Velarde and businessmen, among them, Donald Dee of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), arrived at the Comelec Monday afternoon to seek an audience with the Comelec en banc.

Velarde asked the Comelec how their group can be of assistance to ensure the smooth conduct of the polls.