COMELEC tests VCMs, teachers’ readiness
The Commission on Elections in Tublay, Benguet conducted an election dry run on April 9 in Caponga to test if its voting system is in place in this pandemic.
Tublay Municipal Election Officer Jeffrey Rubino said the activity saw the need to implement a shorter voting time per individual by making sure voters follow health protocols efficiently.
Rubino said they will tap the support staff and safety protocol officers in each polling place to make sure the voters will not be crowding. Holding areas will also be put in place for the voters.
During the dry run, the participants tested the triage, isolation booths for those suspected with Covid-19 during the elections, and the Emergency Accessible Polling Place (EAPP) for senior citizens, heavily pregnant voters, and persons with disability.
Comelec Resolution 10761 states the EAPP will be located on the ground floor, preferably near the entrance of the building, and is free of any physical barriers and provided with necessary services, including assistive devices.
The participants then conducted mock polls with the electoral boards facilitating the vote counting machines, which were able to function well during the activity. The transmission of results was not yet conducted during the dry run.
The Department of Education, Tublay Municipal Police Station, Bureau of Fire Protection, and other agencies participated during the mock polls conducted at Paoad Elementary School.
Rubino said the initial assessment during the dry run, such as strengthening voter’s assistance to shorten voting time per individual, will be used to improve the system on the actual day of voting.
The municipality has 17 polling centers and 22 cluster precincts.
Department of Education Public School District Supervisor of Tublay Simon Backian said all of the schools are ready in the municipality for the election period.
“Most of the teachers have experience in serving as electoral boards in the previous elections, and they had a series of training to upgrade their knowledge especially with this pandemic election,” Backian said.
The Comelec-Cordillera said it would schedule more dry runs especially in far-flung areas to iron out problems encountered in preparation for the May 9 elections. – Ofelia C. Empian