Comelec maps out more concrete plans for mall voting

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) now has clearer plans for setting up voting precincts in shopping malls for the 2016 national polls.

Comelec Chairman Andy Bautista said on Tuesday (September 15) that he met with several mall owners the day before to iron out details.

Bautista said the businessmen were receptive to the idea.

The malls represented were:

SM Supermalls

Ayala Malls

Robinsons Malls

Megaworld Lifestyle Malls

Pacific Malls/Metro Gaisano

Walter Mart Community Malls

Fisher Mall

Comelec gave a list of requirements, which included an open area at least 63 square meters wide (as prescribed by the law for a precinct), generator sets, CCTV cameras and a storage room for vote counting machines.

Comelec presented a set of prototype booths made of carton – lightweight but sturdy. Bautista said he asked the mall operators if they could be the ones to provide the booths.

The poll body also presented a proposed floor plan for mall precincts.

The plan was to set up one voting center in each participating mall – and the number of precincts would depend on the size of the spaces the malls would provide.

Bautista said the poll body was intent on making mall voting happen as a way to "enhance the voting experience" and ensure credible elections.

Comelec reported high biometrics registration turnout in various shopping malls.

He said malls have a generally orderly environment, which would encourage orderly behavior, clearer thinking and — he hoped — wiser votes.

For mall voting to push through, Comelec said it will have to consult with political parties and other groups, and then pass a resolution to make it official.