Pia Gutierrez, ABS-CBN News
Posted at 20 Mar 2016 12:49 AM | Updated as of 20 Mar 2016 01:23 AMA personnel shows the portable voting booth prototype, made of carton, at the Commission on Election (COMELEC). The portable voting booths are being tested as part of COMELEC’s plan to set up mall polling precints for the 2016 presidential election. ABS-CBN News
MANILA - The Commission on Elections has approved the conduct of mall voting for the May 2016 elections, Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista announced in a press conference in Cebu on Saturday night.
Eighty-six malls will participate in the mall voting, and some 200,000 voters from 120 clustered precincts are set to benefit from the exercise, Bautista said.
READ: Comelec conducts walk-through of mall voting
The poll chief explained that the decision came after a series of public consultations with several clustered precincts.
Whole clustered precincts will be moved inside the malls. Senior citizens and persons with disabilities will still be given priority.
READ: PWDs support Comelec's mall voting proposal
Earlier, eight mall chains offered their malls as voting areas. These are SM Supermalls, Ayala Malls, Robinsons Malls, Gaisano Grand Malls, Megaworld Lifestyle Malls, Pacific Malls/Metro Gaisano, WalterMart Community Malls, and Fisher Mall.
Comelec did not include malls owned or connected to candidates.
The poll body earlier said that moving the clustered precincts inside malls will decongest public schools serving as polling areas.
Bautista added that malls are also generally cleaner, safer and more convenient polling places compared to regular schools.