Comelec bans bringing of voting receipt out of precinct, selfies, petty complaints on May 9 elections

The Commission on Elections has banned selfies and petty complaints inside the polling place, and bringing of voting receipt out of the precinct.

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On Tuesday, the Comelec released a resolution that amended certain provisions in the General Instructions for Board Election Inspectors (BEIs) for the May 9 polls.

The voting receipt is now "an official election document or election paraphernalia." Hence, taking it out of the cluster precinct is an election offense, under Sec. 261 (z)(12) of the Omnibus Election Code.

Here's what will happen:
  • The BEI will cut the voting receipt from the Vote Counting Machine (VCM);
  • put indelible ink on the voter's right forefinger; and
  • give the voting receipt to the voter.

The voter will be asked to move to a receipt receptacle located beside the VCM to check the receipt. After checking, the voter will be told to drop the voting receipt inside a black box (the one used for the official ballots).

Making a "frivolous" objection, or petty complaint, after reading the contents of the voting receipt, will be considered an election offense.

Voters are also not allowed to take out of the precinct other supplies used in voting, including the official ballot, secrecy folder, and even the marking pen.

USE of image-capturing devices including digital cameras and cellphones are prohibited. However, the Comelec clarified that voters are ALLOWED to BRING such devices inside the polling precinct. Only watchers of political parties can USE mobile phones inside the polling place as long as they do not violate the privacy of voters.

Under the Omnibus Election Code, any election offense shall merit:
  • imprisonment of not less than one year but not more than six years without probation;
  • permanent disqualification from holding public office;
  • deprivation of right to vote.

Sources: GMA News, SunStar