The Commission on Elections (Comelec), via a 4-3 vote, has scrapped the holding of elections in malls because of legal problems that may later put the poll body in a bind. “It will no longer push through,” Chairman Juan Andres Bautista said on Wednesday. “It’s a pity, it’s disturbing. I apologize to our voters.” The commission arrived at the decision after a marathon en banc session on Tuesday. It reversed its earlier 6-1 ruling in favor of mall voting.
The legal issues on mall voting were raised by former Comelec Commissioner Gregorio Larrazabal in a letter to Bautista. Larrazabal pointed out that the Comelec failed to comply with the three basic requirements set by the Omnibus Election Code (OEC) before some clustered precincts can be legally transferred to shopping malls.
These requirements are the issuance of notices to all parties and voters affected, a Comelec resolution enumerating the specific clustered precincts that will be moved and the resolution has to be issued 45 days before Election Day.
“It has to be in conformity with the law. It is illegal if you transfer polling places or clustered precincts without complying with the requirements of the law,” Larrazabal said, adding that non-compliance would cause massive disenfranchisement as a result of all votes cast in the transferred precincts being declared null and void.
Full Article: Comelec scraps mall voting | The Manila Times Online.