Comelec sets longer voting hours for 2022 polls

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 10) — The voting period for the May 9, 2022 elections will run from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m., an hour longer than the last general polls, the Commission on Elections announced on Wednesday.

Comelec Commissioner Marlon Casquejo said this in a House committee hearing, confirming that the schedule has been approved by the poll body en banc.

However, he added voting precincts would likely not be closed on the dot, as they would still accommodate voters within 30 meters from the polling center.

“So we don’t expect it will end at 7 o’clock, but we will continue until all those inside or within 30 meters in front will be catered,” Casquejo said.

During the 2019 midterm elections, voting ran from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The Comelec earlier said stretching the hours would be necessary for next year, as it will limit the number of people per precinct to ensure physical distancing amid coronavirus threats.

Late last month, the commission held a voting simulation to assess protocols and give the public a sneak peek of what to expect when they cast their votes next year.

The country has at least 64.2 million registered voters as of Oct. 18, according to Divina Blas-Perez, director of Comelec's Election and Barangay Affairs Department. She said this number is based on a 95% data submission by field offices.

There are also 5.017 million new voters nationwide, Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez said in a briefing.