• Comelec rushes instruction on overseas absentee voting

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    THE Commission on Elections (Comelec) has yet to come out with a revised general instruction (GI) on overseas absentee voting two days before it begins.

    “We have already a GI as of February 16 but we need to amend it because of the voter’s receipt. We have to come up with a revised draft taking into consideration the various comments, trying to make sure for a right flow on election day,” Comelec Chairman Juan Andres Bautista said.

    He however gave assurances that the commission will be ready for the OAV which will be held from April 9 to May 9.

    Among the concerns being looked into is the delegation of added responsibilities to members of the Board of Election Inspectors (BEIs).

    The BEI chairman’s main responsibility is to give and sign the ballot, the poll clerk’s is to check the name of the voter, while the third member will watch over the vote counting machines to ensure that the ballot is inserted correctly and to cut out the voter’s receipt.

    “But who will put the indelible ink? When is the proper time to put the indelible ink, while the voter is getting the voter’s receipt or on the way out of the precinct?” Bautista asked.

    Another concern, he added, is how the BEIs will address voters’ complaints on possible discrepancies on the names of candidates printed on the voter’s receipt.

    “The issue there is how will you compare the voter’s receipt to the corresponding ballot of a particular voter? It is just a simple receipt without an identifying factor to distinguish it from the other receipts inside the box,” Bautista said.

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