MANILA — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Friday released its guidelines for local absentee voting (LAV), a system that allows individuals like journalists and government officials to vote ahead of election day.
In a resolution dated Oct. 27, Comelec set the deadline for applications for LAV on March 7, 2022.
Local absentee voting will take place on April 27-29, 2022, or more than a week ahead of the regular voters.
LAV is open to the following:
• Government officials and employees
• Members of the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines
Comelec noted local absentee voters will only be allowed to vote for national positions.
LAV applicants need to fill out a standard form, which must be under oath.
A proof is needed that an applicant will not be able to vote in their designated polling places due to election-related duties.
Applications will be approved by the National Committee on Local Absentee Voting. A final list of approved applicants will be released not later than April 21, 2022.
Media practitioners will vote at the local Comelec office where they filed their local absentee voting applications, while the heads of government offices shall designate the place of voting for government workers not later than April 12, 2022.
Voting will be supervised by the local Comelec office which has jurisdiction over the venue.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, standard health and safety protocols shall be observed at the voting place, which should be spacious and well-ventilated.
Strict crowd management and a queuing system shall also be implemented, as well as single direction flow managements, signage, barriers and other queue management measures.
COVID-19 marshals shall likewise be designated.
Any absentee voter who shall manifest COVID-19 symptoms upon screening at the voting place will be allowed to vote in an isolation polling place.
Government workers who test positive for COVID-19 on April 27, 28, 29 and are quarantined within the premises of their offices or camps where the local absentee voting shall take place will be allowed to vote. The ballots will be delivered to their quarantine facility.
Counting of votes will be done on May 9, 2022, election day, at the close of polls in a venue designated by the local absentee voting committee.
It will be done manually and open to the public and in the presence of authorized watchers who are required to submit a negative RT-PCR test result.
The canvass of votes will also commence on May 9, and will be conducted by a special canvassing board for local absentee voting.