The Commission on Elections in Negros Oriental will reshuffle all its election officers in March to prevent partisanship, and they will be re-assigned in other places for the May 9, 2016 polls.
Dumaguete City Election Officer Gildu Agoncillo said the reshuffling aims to erase doubts of partisanship since officials who have been assigned in a particular place for a long time may favor a certain candidate.
He said the reassignment is part of the efforts of the Comelec to maintain its credibility.
Meanwhile, the assumption of Jose Nick Mendros, the newly-appointed Comelec regional director of the Negros Island Region 18, is set next week. Negros Oriental Provincial Election Supervisor Eddie Aba is still reporting and submitting his recommendations to the Comelec Region 7.
The Comelec has also decided to shorten the voting hours, or from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., to 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Chairman Juan Andres Bautista said the commission en banc decided to change the voting hours since the number of voters in clustered precincts were brought down to 800 from 1,000 voters.
He said they also wanted to encourage voters to vote early since the work of Board of Elections Inspectors did not end when the voting precincts close, as they had to stay there until the last vote was counted and results were transmitted.
Bautista added they would follow the rule when it is 4:30 p.m. on Election Day, and if the voters are 30 meters from the polling precincts, they will be allowed to vote and will be given a number.
In the 2013 midterm election, polling places were open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., thus giving voters 12 hours to vote.
The poll body official reiterated the 30 minutes rule before closing time. “Thirty minutes before closing time, BEI or BEI members will go around announcing they are closing in 30 minutes,” he added.*RG/PNA
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