2022 Philippine Elections

Filipinos urged to cast ballots during off-peak hours in 2022 elections

Dwight de Leon

FILE PHOTO. Early morning voters troop to the Bagumbayan Elementary School in Taguig during the 2016 elections.

Pat Nabong/Rappler

The poll body says it might be difficult to enforce a fixed schedule for voters on May 9, 2022

Filipinos casting their ballots on May 9, 2022 are encouraged to visit polling precincts during off-peak hours to prevent overcrowding, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) said.

Dapat makumbinse ang mga tao na tingnan kung anong oras sila bumoto. Iyong time na tingin nila maluwag, para hindi sila magsiksikan sa presinto,” Comelec Commissioner Antonio Kho said in an interview with PTV-4 on Friday, May 28.

(The public must be convinced to vote during off-peak hours, so that polling precincts are not overcrowded.)

Normally, between 10 am to 3 pm, mahina ang dating ng tao (There are usually fewer voters from 10 am to 3 pm),” he added.

Kho made the statement after Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez said on May 20 that the poll body is looking into the feasibility of scheduling the arrival of voters in polling precincts on election day in 2022 to reduce COVID-19 risks.

While Kho did not categorically rule out such a scenario, he noted that the enforcement of scheduled voting will be challenging.

Iyong concept ng scheduled voting, mahirap i-implement ‘yan (The concept of scheduled voting will be difficult to implement),” he said.

“We will just have to probably extend the voting hours; probably we could start around 6 am and end around 7 to 8 pm depende sa dating ng tao (depending on the influx of voters),” Kho added.

In the 2019 midterm elections, voting hours were from 6 am to 6 pm.

Long lines were a common sight in past elections, but the enduring threat of the coronavirus highlights the need to prevent overcrowding on election day.

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On Friday, Kho said there were already 59 million registered voters for the 2022 national elections.

The 2022 polls will determine the successor of President Rodrigo Duterte, who is barred by the Constitution from seeking another term. — Rappler.com

Dwight de Leon

Dwight de Leon is a multimedia reporter who covers local government units and the Commission on Elections for Rappler.