By Jennifer Catan-Tilos
NEGROS ORIENTAL (PIA) – Commission on Elections (Comelec) here briefed today the more than 200 parish election volunteers in the province on the country’s electoral process including the new voting counting machine (VCM) in a Diocesan Electoral Board’s training seminar in Dumaguete City.
Comelec demonstrated the use of the VCM features and showed the voter verification paper audit trail capability which will be used in the May 2016 polls.
Comelec Provincial Election Supervisor Atty. Lionel Castillano said the upgraded voting machine is faster and easier to use with headphone, a special feature to be used for visually impaired and illiterate persons, compared to PCOS machines in 2013.
The new VCMs use high 256- bit keys encryption levels doubling the security over the previous PCOS machines, the Comelec official said.
A mock voting demonstrated or dry run was done on the new voting system in preparation for May 2016 elections.
In a Diocesan Electoral Board training-seminar for parish volunteers today, Atty. Castillano warned political bets against tacking posters or streamers on trees, electric posts, and on bridges during the campaign period.
Under the Fair Elections Act, candidates with political parties can post their election campaign poster at the designated poster areas identified by Comelec.
Castillano urged the volunteers to be vigilant in monitoring violations and take photos of the illegal posting of campaign materials as his office will send a warning to the candidate concerned to take down streamers and posters.
The campaign period for local candidates will start on March 25 but since it’s a Good Friday and part of a Holy Week observance, campaigning is not allowed on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday, thus the campaign will start on a Black Saturday, March 26.
In the same activity, SMART- TNT of SMART Communications distributed free exclusive SIM cards to poll volunteers in support of the PPCRV/Diocesan Electoral Board of Diocese of Dumaguete’s “One Good Vote” campaign to be used for monitoring reports during this year’s elections. (rmn/jct/PIA7-Negros Oriental/This article was first published at PIA website on March 5, 2016)