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Sunday, April 28, 2013

Stain in fingers conclusive presumption of cast vote 
Rey Anthony Chiu 

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, April 28, 2013 (PIA) –On election day, a person coming into the precinct with stain marks in his fingers would now be presumed he has cast his votes. 

On this, Commission on Elections (COMELEC) Bohol through Atty. Ricardo Villares, reading for the Comelec General Instructions clarified that such is so because a person may have really cast his vote by taking up another identity, where he cast his vote. 

Earlier, reports monitored in Bohol said members of the Board of Election Inspectors (BEI) may check the Election Day Computerized Voters List (EDCVL) and check of the voter has indeed cast his vote. 

While the computerized registration of voters for the Automated Election System in the Philippines uses an Automatic Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS), a person who may have not updated his registration may not yet be identified automatically enough to bar his other registration. 

If, upon checking, a voter’s fingernails are “stained, it shall be a conclusive presumption that he has cast his vote,” according to the general instructions for BEIs. 

A voter who has cast his vote would be given the indelible ink mark on his fingernails which the poll body uses to mark those who have done his duty for this election. 

Moreover, a voter would be asked to leave the polling place, or a watcher may challenge the voter upon presumption that he has already voted. 
When found guilty, the violation is classified an election offense and this denies the offender the benefit of probation, according to the Fair Elections Act. 

In the anticipation that would bring in more voters to a single precinct, the Commission on Elections (COMELC) urges voters to check on their names at the Posted Computerized Voter’s Lists (PCVL) already up at their respective polling places. 

City Comelec election officer Atty. Jonas Biliran said PCVLs have been pre-posted and a voter should check if his name there, get his precinct number and sequence number for ready submission to the Board of Election Inspectors during the election day. 

This shall give the voter enough time to inform the local COMELEC supervisor if his name has been excluded in the list. 

Comelec said unless the name has been crossed out in the PCVL, the BEI shall not allow the voter to join the process. 

Aside from a crossed out name, Atty. Biliran enumerates reasons for deletion from the list: transfer of the voter to a new precinct, failure to vote in the last two polls which disenfranchises a voter, or death. 

Voters who may not have the time to find their precincts can also log on to Comelec website at www.comelec.gov.ph and fill in the slots to be linked to the precinct finder applications. 

The Precinct finder gives one the precinct he is on, but does not give him the voter’s sequence number however. 

Upon voting, where first-come first serve basis is used unlike the priority numbers then, from the holding area seating, the voter approaches the BEI, hand in his sequence number and the he would be verified as voter according to the Election Day Computerized Voter’s List (EDCVL). 

A voter would also need to establish his identity through his photograph, signature, or when a member of the BEI can identify a voter and may do so under oath. 

Only then can a voter be able to obtain his ballot for him to cast his vote, the Comelec said. (30/gg)

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