Marcos pushes for pilot run of 2022 hybrid elections

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 28) — Senator Imee Marcos is pushing for a pilot run of the hybrid election system for the 2022 polls.

During Thursday's plenary session, Marcos presented her proposal to conduct a combination of automated and manual election systems, which she said would ensure the transparency and credibility of the electoral process.

"As a general rule, I'm given to understand that the pilot involves about 10 clustered precincts in every district so that would be much, much bigger. I'm not certain we're able to do that under the circumstances of the pandemic," Marcos explained.

She added there is already a recommendation to do the pilot testing in four representative areas, but specific details have yet to be determined.

"It's not been worked out. But essentially 2 urban areas, 2 more rural, harder to reach areas, Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, being represented. Populous barangays being included versus more scantily populated areas," Marcos said.

The senator did not specify the budget needed for the process, but assured the public it will not be much, as participating precincts only need additional paper and personnel.

"The tara system, familiar to us, with the big sheets of paper and the teachers doing the counting will probably suffice and then some sort of screenshot will have to be electronically sent," she said.

With the COVID-19 pandemic still limiting mass gatherings, the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) has been looking for ways to make sure the 2022 national elections will push through.

On May 11, the poll body said it is looking into retaining the one-day election period, but voting hours would have to be stretched. The COMELEC said the change is needed since it plans to limit the number of voters per cluster precinct, depending on the availability of vote counting machines.

Prior to this, the COMELEC said it was also studying the possibility of holding elections for two to three days.

CNN Philippines correspondent Eimor Santos contributed to this report.