Comelec to hold mock polls in 60 precincts Jan. 19

MANILA — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) is set to conduct mock polls in 60 polling precincts in different parts of the country on Saturday, in preparation for the May 13 national and local elections.

“The mock elections will test and ensure the security features, accuracy, integrity, and functional capabilities of the elements of the AES (automated election system),” Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez said in a press briefing on Thursday.

Seven areas in the National Capital Region (NCR) — four clustered precincts in Quezon City, and two each in Manila, Pasig City, Taguig City, Pateros, Valenzuela City, and Muntinlupa City — will join the event on Saturday.

Mock elections will also be held in four precincts each in the provinces of Pangasinan, Cagayan, Sorsogon, Camarines Sur, Cebu, Bohol, Zamboanga del Norte, Davao del Sur, South Cotabato, Sulu, and Basilan.

Voting hours for the majority of the areas or those with 100 voters each will be from 6 a.m. to noon, except for three areas in NCR.

As for Barangay Pinagbuhatan in Pasig City, Barangay Bahay Toro in Quezon City, and Barangay 669 in Manila with some 800 to 1,000 registered voters, the mock elections will be from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Jimenez said a total of 90 vote counting machines (VCMs), including 30 back-up units; 86 consolidation and canvassing system laptops, including 22 for contingency; 44 modems; 60 batteries; and 60 old ballot boxes will be deployed for Saturday’s activity.

The names used in the mock ballots are sports teams, bands, athletes, and celebrities, among others.

The poll body official noted that they will be using the Voter Registration Verification Machines (VRVMs) in some voting centers, including Barangay Pinagbuhatan in Pasig City, Barangay Bahay Toro in Quezon City, Barangay 669 in Manila, and in selected precincts in Pangasinan, Cebu, Cavite, Davao del Sur, and Zamboanga del Sur.

The Voter Registration Verification System is an automated system to verify voter registration at the polling precinct, instead of the printed copies of Election Day Computerized Voters List.