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Comelec expects high voter turnout

BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN

Despite the threat of COVID-19, the Commission on Elections expects a high turnout of voters to participate in the May 9 elections in Negros Occidental, which has more than 1.9 million registered voters.

While he has no projections in the turnout of voters at the various polling precincts today, Provincial Comelec Supervisor Roberto Salazar Jr. said that it will be usually high during the presidential elections, as many are interested to cast their votes, compared to midterm elections.

The camp of presidential bet Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has claimed a landslide victory in Negros Occidental, due to the support of 28 of 31 mayors and four of seven solons, while the Robredo People’s Council reported that VP Leni enjoyed a comfortable lead in the presidential survey in the province.

Negros Occidental, including the highly urbanized Bacolod City, has 2,906 clustered precincts.

Despite the pandemic, Salazar said that Comelec also observed it did not stop from supporters of politicians from attending political rallies, even during the conduct of plebiscite in Palawan.

He, however, said that isolation polling places were established to cater those with COVID-19 symptoms.

During the final testing and sealing of Voters Counting Machines (VCMs), Salazar reported that 17 of them malfunctioned with issues such as failure to scan, ballot jamming, misreading of ballots, and defective printer compartments.

He, however, said that it was immediately addressed after it was repaired in Cebu City, which is the nearest regional VCM repair hub, and brought back to Negros Occidental.

Negros Occidental has a standby 50 VCMs for the province, and two for highly-urbanized Bacolod City, Salazar said.

He advised voters to vote early, wisely and safely.*

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