Media men now 'absentee voters', can vote early
MANILA - The Commission on Elections has given local absentee voters, including members of the media, 3 days to cast their vote more than a week ahead of the May 2013 midterm elections.
Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes told media that Resolution 9637 was promulgated to allow media men to vote with local absentee voters for the 1st time.
Brillantes said local absentee voters are scheduled to vote from April 28-30. They are expected to cast their votes at the provincial, regional or city election offices where they are registered as voters.
Brillantes said that by March 2013, media companies will have to submit a list of journalists who will be on duty on Election Day. The list will be checked to see if the media men are registered voters.
He said one major feature of the local absentee voting is that should the absentee voter fail to vote on the advance dates, they will still be allowed to vote on Election Day on May 13.
Those who vote in advance can only vote for national positions while those who vote on May 13 can vote on all positions.
Brillantes warned absentee voters against double voting, which is an election offense.
"Nakalagay din pag double voting tuloy tuly sa kulungan. It's definitely an election offense. I don't think media, soldiers, teachers will do this. We have no problem,” he said.
Resolution 9637 said only government officials and employees, members of the AFP, PNP and media as well as their support staff are allowed to avail of local absentee voting.
The following types of media men are allowed to vote: Print journalists, television journalists, photo journalists, online journalists, radio journalists, documentary makers, tv and radio production.
The resolution states though that they are 1st duly registered voters and that on Election Day, they wont be in their place of registration because of their work.
Government officials and employees who will be on election duty overseas may also avail of local absentee voting.
Government officials and employees, members of the AFP and PNP have until March 15 to file before their heads of offices, supervisors and commanders their duly accomplished application forms to avail of local absentee voting.
Members of the media and their staff have until March 31to file their applications before the offices of the provincial election supervisors, office of the regional election director of the NCR and office of the city election officer in the case of highly urbanized cities or independent cities outside NCR.
The highly urbanized cities have been identified as Baguio, Angeles, Olongapo, Lucena, Puerto Princesa, Iloilo, Bacolod, Cebu, Mandaue, Lapulapu, Tacloban, Zamboanga, Iligan, Cagayan de Oro, Davao, General Santos and Butuan.
Independent cities have been identified as Santiago, Naga, Ormoc and Cotabato.
The absentee voters have from 8am to 5pm of April 28, 29 and 30 to cast their votes.
Government employees and officials, members of the AFP and PNP will vote at a place designated by the head of office.
For purposes of future elections, local absentee voters shall not vote earlier than 15 days and no later than 12 days before the elections.
Brillantes himself heads the committee on local absentee voting.