Thursday, March 18, 2010

General Instructions for the Board of Election Inspectors (BEIs)

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ARTICLE IV
DATE, TIME AND PLACE OF VOTING

SEC. 20Date of election. The election shall be held on May 10, 2010.

SEC. 21Voting hours.The casting of votes shall start at seven o-clock in the morning and shall end at six o’clock in the evening of election day.

If at six o’clock there are still voters within thirty (30) meters in front of the polling place who have not yet cast their votes, voting shall continue but only to allow said voters to cast their votes without interruption.  The poll clerk shall, without delay, prepare a complete list containing the names of said voters consecutively numbered.  The voters listed shall be called to vote by the poll clerk by announcing each name three (3) times in the order in which they are listed.  Any voter in the list who is not present when called shall not be allowed to vote at any later time.  The said list shall be submitted to the Election Officer.

SEC. 22.  Place of Voting.Voters shall cast their votes in the polling place designated by the Commission.  The Poster indicating the Clustered Precinct Number (A3) shall be prominently posted near or at the door of the polling place.

SEC. 23.  Who may vote.All registered voters whose names appear in the Posted Computerized Voters List (PCVL) or EDCVL, or whose registration records have not been cancelled or deactivated, may vote in the election.

SEC. 24.  Challenge against illegal voters.Any voter or watcher may challenge any person offering to vote for:

a)    Not being registered;
b)    Using the name of another; or
c)    Suffering from an existing disqualification.

In such case, the BEI shall satisfy itself as to whether or not the ground for the challenge is true by requiring proof of registration, identity or qualification.  The BEI shall identify the voter through his photograph, fingerprint, or specimen signatures in the VRR or EDCVL.  In the absence of any of the above-mentioned proof of identity, any member of the BEI may identify under oath a voter, and such act shall be reflected in the Minutes.

SEC. 25.  Challenge based on certain illegal acts. Any voter or watcher may challenge any voter offering to vote on the ground that he:

a)    Received or expects to receive, paid, offered or promised to pay, contributed, offered or promised to contribute money or anything of value as consideration for his vote or for the vote of another; or

b)    Made or received a promise to influence the giving or withholding of any such vote; or

c)    Made a bet or is interested directly or indirectly in a bet that depends upon the results of the election.

In such case, the challenged voter shall take an oath before the BEI that he has not committed any of the acts alleged in the challenge.  Upon taking such oath, the challenge shall be dismissed and the voter shall be allowed to vote.  In case the voter refuses to take such oath, the challenge shall be sustained and the voter shall not be allowed to vote.

SEC. 26.  Record of challenges and oaths. The BEI shall record in the Minutes all challenges and oaths taken in connection therewith and its decision in each case.

SEC. 27.  Rules to be observed during the voting.During the voting, the BEI shall see to it that:

a)    Voters shall vote in the order of their arrival in the polling place;

b)    No watcher shall enter the place reserved for the voters and the BEI, nor mingle and talk with the voters;

c)    No person carrying any firearm or any other deadly weapon, except those expressly authorized by the Commission, shall enter the polling place;

d)    There shall be no crowding of voters and disorderly behaviour inside the polling place; and

e)    The ballot box shall remain locked during voting.

SEC. 28.  Persons allowed inside the polling place.Only the following persons shall be allowed inside the polling place:

a)    Members of the BEI and support staff, if any;

b)    Watchers who shall stay only in the space reserved for them;

c)    Representatives of the Commission;

d)    Technical support staff assigned in the voting center duly designated by the Commission when summoned by the BEI in order to address some technical problems;

e)    Voters casting their votes;

f)     Voters waiting for their turn to cast their vote;

g)    Other persons who may be specifically authorized by the Commission.

Unless specifically authorized by the Commission, it is unlawful for the following to enter any polling place or stay within a radius of fifty (50) meters thereof, except to vote:

1.    Any officer or member of the Armed Forces of the Philippines or the Philippine National Police;

2.    Any peace officer or any armed person belonging to any extra-legal police agency, special forces, reaction forces, strike forces, Civilian Armed Force Geographical Units, barangay tanods or other similar forces or para-military forces, including special forces, security guards, special policemen;

3.    All other kinds of armed or unarmed extra-legal police forces; and

4.    Any barangay official, whether elected or appointed.

However, the BEI may, by a majority vote, if it deems necessary, order in writing the detail of a policeman or any peace officer for its protection or for the protection of the election documents and paraphernalia.  Such order shall be entered in the Minutes.  Said policeman or peace officer shall stay outside the polling place near enough to be easily called by the BEI at anytime.  In no case shall the said policeman or peace officer hold any conversation with any voter or disturb or prevent or in any manner obstruct the free access of the voters to the polling place.

SEC. 29. Prohibition on voting. It shall be unlawful for a voter to:

a)    Bring the ballot, ballot secrecy folder or marking pen outside of the polling place;

b)    Speak with anyone other than as herein provided while inside the polling place;

c)    Prepare his ballot without using the ballot secrecy folder or exhibit its contents;

d)    Fill his ballot accompanied by another, except in the case of an illiterate or person with disability/disabled voter;

e)    Erase any printing from the ballot, or put any distinguishing mark on the ballot;

f)     Use carbon paper, paraffin paper or other means of making a copy of the contents of the ballot, or otherwise make use of any other scheme to identify his vote, including the use of digital cameras, cellular phones with camera or similar gadgets; and

g)    Intentionally tear or deface the ballot.

h)    To disrupt or attempt to disrupt the normal operation of the PCOS.


SEC. 30. Preparation of ballots for illiterate and person with disability/disabled voters.No voter shall be allowed to vote as illiterate or person with disability/disabled unless such fact is indicated in the EDCVL or VRR.  If so, he may be assisted in the preparation of his ballot, by any:

a.    Relative within the fourth civil degree of consanguinity or affinity;

b.    Any person of his confidence who belongs to the same household; or

c.    Member of the BEI.

A person with physically impaired capacity to use the AES may also be assisted in feeding his ballot into the PCOS.  The assistor shall ensure that the contents of the ballot are not displayed during the feeding of the same into the PCOS.

All assistors must be of voting age.

No person may assist an illiterate or person with disability/disabled voter more than three (3) times, except the members of the BEI.

In all cases, the poll clerk shall first verify from the illiterate or person with disability/ disabled voter whether the latter had authorized the assistor to help him to cast his vote.

The assistor shall, in the presence of the illiterate or person with disability/disabled voter, prepare the ballot using a ballot secrecy folder.

The assistor shall bind himself in writing and under oath to fill the ballot strictly in accordance with the instructions of the voter and not to reveal the contents thereof, by affixing his signature in the appropriate space in the Minutes.

SEC. 31. Accessibility of polling place to person with disability/disabled voters.All polling places of precincts where there are persons with disability/disabled voters shall be located at the ground floor of the voting centers, unless not feasible.  For this purpose, the Eos shall coordinate with the proper school or building officials.

SEC. 32. Prohibition against premature announcement of voting.During the voting, no member of the BEI shall make any announcement as to whether a certain registered voter has already voted or not, as to how many have already voted or how many so far have failed to vote or any other fact tending to show or showing the state of the polls; nor shall he make any statement at any time, except as witness before a court or body as to how many persons voted.


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