The Commission on Elections has decided to scrap its plan to allow voting in malls, Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista said yesterday.
Voting 4-3, the commission en banc Tuesday junked the mall voting project after three commissioners reconsidered their earlier decisions on the project.
"Last night, the Comelec en banc decided not to proceed with mall voting for the 2016 elections. This decision overturns the March 10 resolution, Bautista said.
Commissioners Christian Lim, Luie Guia, and Arthur Lim have supported the dissenting opinion of Commissioner Rowena Guanzon, who was not in favor of the implementation of the project.
Those who approved the mall voting were Bautista and Commissioners Al Parreño and Sheriff Abas.
We approved it on March 10. Their (new) interpretation is that the approval and transfer should happen 45 days before the elections, Bautista said.
The Omnibus Election Code does not allow the transfer of polling precincts within 45 days before a regular election.
"We apologize to our voters, who were already informed of their transfer to malls. We are now in the process of informing them of their new voting areas. Basically, we will just return them to their old polling precincts, he said.
The Comelec had approved mall voting at Robinsons Place Bacolod and at the Gaisano Grand Mall.
The Robinsons Bacolod voting would have involved 1,486 voters of Brgy. Mandalagan and at Gaisano Grand Malls 2,076 voters of Barangay Singcang.
Meanwhile, Guanzon said the Comelec is requiring local government units to open their daycare centers with food for the children so their mothers and fathers can drop their children there and vote.*PNA/CPG
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