|Comelec spokesman James Jimenez made this clear in a Viber message to reporters Friday night, saying they never considered allowing COVID-19 patients into polling precincts to avoid mass transmission of the virus. (Photo by Andy Zapata Jr/ The Star)|
[Asia News = Reporter Reakkana] MANILA: Voters testing positive for COVID-19 and still completing isolation will not be allowed by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to cast their ballots in the May 9, 2022, national and local elections, PhilStar reported. Comelec spokesman James Jimenez made this clear in a Viber message to reporters, saying they never considered allowing COVID-19 patients into polling precincts to avoid mass transmission of the virus.
“The Comelec is fully cognizant of the risks – both to the patient and the public – associated with making a COVID-positive person go out to vote. This being so, the idea of requiring such persons to leave their isolation facilities was never really on the table,” Jimenez said. Earlier, Health Undersecretary Rosario Vergerie asked the Comelec to explore alternatives such as digital voting for COVID-19 patients in isolation, but Jimenez emphasized that the law states no other alternative means of casting their ballots other than in-person voting.
“As to the possibility of alternative means of voting, unfortunately, these are not authorized by law and will not be employed on 9 May 2022,” he said. He also clarified Comelec Chairman Sheriff Abas’ pronouncement that they would set-up “isolation polling places or IPPs” on Election Day for individuals manifesting COVID-19 symptoms, saying these are not for those already diagnosed as COVID positive.