By Marisol Bo-oc | 10:59 AM May 02, 2022

Commissioner George Garcia of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) had warned voters, especially first-timers, against taking pictures of their accomplished ballots on May 9, Election Day.

He also discouraged voters from listing down their chosen candidates on their cell phones to avoid being accused of photographing their filled-out ballots.

“We are not banning cell phones, that’s not in the [voting] guidelines,” Garcia said in an online news forum on Sunday.

“But our advice to the public, especially to the first-time voters, is don’t take pictures in the [polling] precinct. Don’t take selfies there anymore. Voting is not for selfies anyway,” he added.

Violating ballot secrecy is considered an election offense.

“So you can bring a cell phone, just don’t use it while you are voting so that you will not face any complaints from a poll watcher that will be recorded in the minutes of voting,” he said.

Meanwhile, Comelec Spokesperson James Jimenez said not to believe that someone can read your vote.

“Walang makakabasa ng laman ng balota mo. Hwag maniniwala sa mga nanakot na nagsasabing kaya nilang ma-diskubre kung sino ang binoto mo. Nagsisinungaling yang mga yan para mapilitan kang iboto ang mga manok nala. Hwag magpalinlang,” he said.

Voters will not be required to present a Covid-19 vaccination card and a negative PCR or antigen test at polling precincts although they must wear a mask. A face shield will not be necessary.

But due to the pandemic, the Comelec has ordered that those found to have a temperature of 37.5 degrees Celsius or higher and exhibit Covid-19 symptoms will be taken to an area called an isolation polling place within the voting center.

By Bohol Island News

Your reliable source of news and content in the island and the rest of Central Visayas and Mindanao.

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