MANILA— The Commission on Elections (Comelec) held a voting simulation Saturday in San Juan City in preparation for the country's first national elections under a pandemic.
The simulation was held in Barangays Balongbato and Ermitaño, which have a total 4,235 registered voters.
The run-through sought to determine the average time frame in the verification process of voter identity on the Election Day Computerized Voting List base, which has 800 registered voters per clustered precinct, Comelec said.
The poll body also aims to identify other areas of concern in the verification process, taking into consideration the need to observe minimum public health and safety protocols with the ongoing pandemic.
During the simulation process, the following steps were followed:
- All participants were required to wear face masks and face shields upon entering school premises.
- Their body temperature was taken to ensure they don't have a fever, a COVID-19 symptom.
An isolation polling place (IPP) was designated for those who may exhibit symptoms.
"‘Pag meron siyang symptoms... dadalhin sya sa IPP- Isolation polling place. After that he will be directed to the appropriate health officers na merong nakatambay naman doon," Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez said.
(If the voter has symptoms, they will be bought to the IPP, isolation polling place. After that, they will be directed to the appropriate health officers on standby.)
If the voter still wants to cast their vote despite showing symptoms, polling staff will assist them.
Meanwhile, COVID-19 marshalls were placed on standby to remind participants to observe proper physical distancing.
Jimenez said the COVID-19 pandemic would definitely have an impact on the voting hours and the whole election process.
Teofisto Elnas Jr., Comelec’s Deputy Executive Director for Operations, said the result of this voting simulation and their recommendations will be included in the general instructions of the Commission for election day itself.
- report from Johnson Manabat, ABS-CBN News