GenSan inmates to cast votes inside jail

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 10 May) – Some 1,030 inmates or persons deprived of liberty (PDL) at the city reformatory center will cast their votes in Monday’s local and national midterm elections.

Inmates in South Cotabato cast their votes during the May 2013 elections. MindaNes file photo by BONG S. SARMIENTO

Lawyer April Mitchor-Miguel, city election officer, said they have made arrangements with the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) to conduct the voting on May 13 inside the reformatory center or city jail compound in Purok Lanton, Barangay Apopong.

She said they had conducted an orientation for the eligible voters and trained jail personnel who will serve as special electoral board.

“We have established 13 clustered precincts where the manual voting will be conducted,” Miguel told reporters.

The official said they opted to conduct the voting for the PDLs inside the jail due to the big number of voters and the lack of security personnel that will escort them to the polling centers and precincts.

In the previous elections, Miguel said PDL voters aged below 50 were allowed to cast their votes at assigned polling precincts in schools while those aged 50 and above voted inside the reformatory centers.

Based on the approved procedure, she said no Vote Counting Machine (VCM) will be brought to the jail.

Miguel said support staff of school-based precincts where the PDLs were listed will bring the official ballots to the clustered precincts inside the jail.

After the voting, she said the filled out ballots will be brought back to the polling precincts for feeding into the VCM.

“The manual voting will be done in the presence of accredited poll watchers,” Miguel said, noting that election watchdog Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting has committed to send volunteers monitor the process.

She added that the city police and the BJMP has assigned personnel to secure the polling precincts inside the jail and the movement of the poll support staff handling the ballots. (MindaNews)