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Saturday, April 10, 2010

General Instructions for the Board of Election Inspectors (BEIs)

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ARTICLE V
PROCEDURES OF VOTING, COUNTING OF VOTES AND TRANSMISSION OF PRECINCT RESULTS

SEC. 33. Preliminaries to the voting.The BEI shall meet at the polling place at six o’clock in the morning of Election Day and do the following:

a) Ensure that it has all the election forms, documents and supplies needed, including:

1)    One (1) iButton security key for the chairman of the BEI for use in operating the PCOS; and

2)    iButton security key and Personal Identification Number (PIN) for each member of the BEI for use to digitally sign the ERs before transmission.

iButtons will be found in the thermal printer compartment and the PINs will be in a separate envelopes found inside the PCOS box.

1.  Post one copy of PCVL, of each precinct in the cluster, near or at the door of the polling place.

2.  Before the voting begins, the Chairman of the BEI shall:

a.    Show to the public and the watchers present that the:
                                                  i.    PCOS box is sealed;

BEI members and watchers shall check if the serial number of the seal used in the PCOS box is the same as the serial number recorded during the testing and sealing.

                                                 ii.    Ballot box is locked and empty; and

                                                iii.    Package of official ballots and the Book of Voters are both duly sealed, and thereafter, break the seals;

b.    Count the ballots manually.  Enter in the Minutes the number of ballots; and the fact that the PCOS box, package of ballots and the Book of Voters were shown to the public with the seals intact.

c.    Remove the seal of the PCOS box, retrieve the PCOS from the box and show that the seals of the printer cover, main memory card slot and back-up memory card slot of the PCOS are intact.  Record in the Minutes such fact and thereafter break the seal of the printer cover.  The Main memory card slot and back-up memory card slot shall remain sealed during the voting.

d.    Install the PCOS by:

                                                  i.    Placing the PCOS properly on top of the ballot box;
                                                 ii.    Connecting the battery of the PCOS; and

                                                iii.    Plugging the power cord.

e.    Wait until the PCOS displays the message: “PLEASE INSERT SECURITY KEY FOR AUTHENTICATION”

f.     Place the iButton security key on top of the iButton security key receptacle and apply slight pressure thereon, until the message “SECURITY KEY VERIFIED” appears on the PCOS screen; and

g.    Remove the iButton security key from its receptacle after which the PCOS shall display the main menu.

The chairman shall keep the iButton security key in his custody throughout the voting.

h.    The Operator shall initialize the PCOS by:

                                                  i.    Selecting “OPEN VOTING” from the Main Menu.

                                              ii.    The PCOS will request for the PIN of the poll clerk who will then enter his PIN and press “ENTER”.  The PCOS will validate the PIN and displays a message “PIN ACCEPTED”.  The PCOS will request for the second PIN from the third member who will then enter his PIN and press “ENTER”.  The PCOS will validate the PIN and displays a message “PIN ACCEPTED”.

                                            iii.    The PCOS will then display two (2) options: “INITIALIZE VOTE COUNTERS” and “PREVIOUS SCREEN”.

                                               iv.    Press the “INITIALIZE VOTE COUNTERS” option of the PCOS.

                                                v.    The PCOS shall display the message “INITIALIZING VOTE COUNTERS”.  Thereafter, PCOS shall automatically print the Initialization Report showing the ZERO (“0”) vote for each candidate and the geographic information (province, city/municipality, barangay, voting center and cluster precinct).

                                 vi.    The PCOS shall display the message “PLEASE INSERT BALLOT”.  Now, the PCOS is ready to accept ballots.

                                     vii.    Detach Initialization Report and let the BEI and the watchers present affix their signatures thereon.

i.      The Chairman shall then place the report inside the envelope (A18-A) for submission to the Election Officer after the voting, for his safekeeping.

SEC. 34. Manner of obtaining ballots.The voter shall:

1. Look for his name in the PCVL posted near the door of the voting center and determine his precinct number and sequence number;

2. Approach the BEI member or the support staff in-charge of the precinct, give his sequence number in the PCVL, name and address, together with the other data concerning his person.

3.   The BEI or the support staff shall verify if the name of the voter is in the EDCVL.  If the name of the voter is in the EDCVL, his identity shall then be established through the following:

                                                  i.    His photograph in the EDCVL or specimen signatures in the Voters Registration Record (VRR) or any authentic document which may establish his identity except barangay certificate or community tax certificate; or

                                                 ii.    In the absence of any of the above-mentioned proof of identity, any member of the BEI or any registered voter of the precinct/clustered precinct may identify under oath a voter, and such act shall be reflected in the Minutes.

If the BEI or support staff is satisfied with his identity, the name of the voter shall be distinctly announced in a tone loud enough to be heard throughout the polling place.  Otherwise, the voter shall be directed to leave the polling place after informing him the reason thereof.  If the voter is not challenged, or having been challenged, the question has been decided in his favour, the voter shall be directed to the chairman of the BEI.

Before giving the ballot to the voter, the Chairman of the BEI shall:

a)    Check if any of the fingernails of the voter has already been stained with indelible ink.  If stained, it shall be a conclusive presumption that he has cast his vote.  As such, the voter shall be directed to leave the polling place after informing him the reason thereof.  This fact, including the name and the precinct of the voter, shall be recorded by the Poll Clerk in the Minutes;

b)    After verifying that no fingernail has been stained, affix his signature in the EDCVL;

c)    Authenticate the ballot by affixing his signature at the designated space at the front thereof.

The failure to authenticate the ballot shall not invalidate the ballot, but shall constitute an election offense.

d)    Instruct the voter on how to fill-up the ballot properly.

e)    Insert the ballot in the secrecy folder in such a manner that its face is covered, except the portion where his signature in the ballot appears, and give the ballot to the voter.

Only the Chairman shall issue the official ballots, and not more than one ballot shall be issued at one time.

f)     Require the voter to affix his signature on the proper space in the EDCVL.

SEC. 35.  Manner of voting. Voting shall be conducted in the following manner:

1.    The voter shall, using the ballot secrecy folder and the marking pen provided by the COMELEC, fill his ballot by fully shading the oval beside the names of the candidates and political party participating in the party list system of representation of his choice.

2.    The voter shall then approach the PCOS, insert his ballot in the ballot entry slot and wait until the ballot is dropped into the ballot box.  The BEI shall monitor the PCOS screen to make sure that the ballot was successfully accepted.  Thereafter, the voter shall return the ballot secrecy folder and marking pen to the Chairman.

3.    The Chairman shall apply indelible ink at the base and extending to the cuticle of the right forefinger nail of the voter, or any other nail, if there be no forefinger nail.

4.    The voter shall affix his thumbmark on the corresponding space in the EDCVL.

5.    The voter shall then leave the polling place.

SEC. 36. Rejected ballots; Procedure. Ballots may be rejected by the PCOS during the scanning.  In the event of a rejected ballot, the voter shall be allowed to re-insert the ballot.  If the PCOS still rejects the ballot, the voter shall return the ballot to the Chairman who shall:

1.    Distinctly mark the back thereof as “Rejected,”

2.    Require all members of the board to sign at the back thereof, and place inside the Envelope for Rejected Ballots (A15).

No replacement ballot shall be issued to a voter whose ballot is rejected by the PCOS.

Any party objecting to the rejection of the ballot shall reduce his objection in writing, which the Board shall attach and note in the Minutes.

SEC. 37. Disposition of unused ballots. After the voting, the Chairman, in the presence of the BEI, shall:

1.    Record in the Minutes the quantity of unused ballots.

2.    Tear the unused ballots in half lengthwise.

3.    The first one-half shall be placed in the envelope (A15), and submit to the EO for safekeeping.

4.    Place the other half in another envelope (A15), and then deposit inside the compartment of the ballot box for valid ballots.

Such facts shall be entered in the Minutes.

SEC. 38. Counting of ballots and transmission of results; Procedure.

1.    At the end of voting and before the start of counting of votes, the procedure of validating the iButton security key stated in Section 33 (6 and 7) herein shall be performed.

2.    The Operator shall then press the “CLOSE VOTING” option in the Main Menu.

3.    The screen will display a message “ARE YOU SURE YOU WANT TO CLOSE VOTING?  NO MORE BALLOTS WILL BE ACCEPTED AFTER THIS.”  Select “YES” option.
4.    The PCOS will request for the PIN of the poll clerk who will then enter his PIN and press “ENTER”. 

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