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NAMFREL: Polls ‘peaceful’ so far
THE National Citizens’ Movement for Free Elections (NAMFREL) released its preliminary observations on the conduct of the 2022 National and Local Elections, as observed by its volunteers who are currently on-site in different voting centers across the country.
NAMFREL has tens of thousands of volunteers observing in voting centers nationwide for today’s elections.
The preliminary observations cover the opening procedures and the first few hours of voting, including arrangements inside the voting centers.
Authorized NAMFREL volunteers send observations through online forms, paper forms, and the NAMFREL app.
NAMFREL volunteers reported that in general, “the conduct of the elections has been smooth and peaceful so far, with most polling places opening on time, no significant delay in the start of voting, with the electoral boards as well as the machines and election paraphernalia complete in most polling places, observed.”
Early voting activities are characterized by a high turnout of voters, especially in urban areas, with voters lining up in the hundreds outside many voting centers even before the polls open at 6:00 a.m.
The high turnout seemed to have overwhelmed many voting centers, in which anti-Covid protocols were not properly enforced and observed, especially physical distancing and proper wearing of face masks.
Temperatures are also not consistently being checked at the entrance to the voting center.
It also affected voting centers’ effectiveness in handling the flow of voters going inside the voting centers, resulting in crowding outside polling places and in corridors.