CHECK. A three-man technical hub composed of personnel from the Department of Science and Technology and Department of Information and Communications Technology are on standby during the final testing and sealing of vote-counting machines in Laoag City, Ilocos Norte on Friday (May 6, 2022). The machines will only be opened again on election day Monday (May 9). (PNA photo by Leilanie G. Adriano)

MANILA – Election day on Monday will be unlike any other polling exercise as the world is still under a coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.

Aside from making sure the electoral exercise will proceed without any hitch, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) is also burdened with the implementation of health protocols.

Polling precincts will open at 6 a.m. and close at 7 p.m., with medical personnel on standby to provide assistance.

Voters are advised to take note of their polling place through the online precinct finder ( and lists provided by the Comelec, local government units, and villages.

With over 67.5 million registered voters, it is important for a voter not to stay too long when casting their votes and to leave the voting premises immediately after. Thus, it is advisable that they make a list of their candidates, especially the 12 senators and members of the local council, where at least six must be picked.

A special marking pen will be provided in poling precincts but voters are still advised to bring pens to sign the computerized voters’ list.

Casting of votes will follow the following procedures:
1.    Temperature check before entering the polling place;
2.    Assistance desk to secure precinct and sequence numbers and assigned room or clustered precinct;
3.    Assigned room for voting;
4.    Fill up ballot, contained in a secrecy folder, with a marking pen to fully shade the oval beside the candidates’ names. Overvoting, erasures, and other marks aside from the shaded oval will invalidate the ballot. Make sure the ballot is clean and without any marks before accepting it;
5.    Feed the ballot into the vote-counting machine;
6.    Check voter’s receipt and deposit it in the receptacle;
7.    Have right forefinger nail stained with indelible ink.

A voter may bring a mobile phone but using them while voting and taking a photo of the ballot are prohibited.

Wearing masks is a must but they must not bear the name or face of a candidate.

Likewise, wearing of shirts, caps and other paraphernalia with voter’s name or face and bringing in of campaign materials, including sample ballots, are not allowed.

Shirts or apparel of any color are allowed while face shields may be required in areas under Alert Level 4.

Any valid identification card will do in case election inspectors need to verify the voter’s identity.

A negative Covid-19 test result, vaccination card, and voter’s ID are not requirements to cast votes.

An isolation room or area will be provided for voters with Covid-19 symptoms. (PNA)