MANILA, Philippines – For those who will vote for the first time on May 13: Do you know exactly where your polling precinct is?
And for old-time voters: Are you sure your name will be at the same voting center where you cast your ballot in 2010?
The Commission on Elections (Comelec) is bound by law to provide voters their precinct assignments at least a month before election day, in a most convenient way – by mailing the information sheets to individual voters.
At the latest, voters should have received from Mr. Postman last April 13, Saturday, their Voting Information and Instruction Sheet (VIIS), as specified in Republic Act 7904.
This two-page document contains the voter's name, address, the precinct and the place where he is registered, and simplified instructions on casting one’s vote.
The law gives Comelec at least 30 days before election day to send the voters’ information sheet through registered mail. It should come with a sample ballot and the list of candidates in his locality, but the Comelec has decided not to send the two other documents, posting the sample ballots instead on its website, where voters can download them.
Starting Mid-February – 90 days before election day, according to Republic Act 8189 – the Comelec is also required to post at the local election offices and in the bulletin board of city and municipal halls the following:
Both lists should categorize names by precinct per barangay.
Voters who haven't received their voter info sheet yet should inquire with their city or provincial election officers, said Divina Bals-Prez, head of Comelec's Election and Barangay Affairs Department.
She explained that delivering these documents to 52,014,648 voters could really pose a problem. "Delay is really unavoidable, especially if it's through our postal system," she said.
Have you already received your Voting Information and Instruction Sheet from Comelec? We'd like to know whether Comelec indeed sent them out. Take a picture of it – but don’t forget to cover the information you want to keep confidential – and send it to email@example.com. – Rappler.com