4.8M voters in WV decide today

A participant to the mock vote during the final testing and sealing of the Vote Counting Machines (VCM) and Voter Registration Verification Machines (VRVM) at the Apolinario Mabini Elementary School in Iloilo City checks the VRVM on May 10, 2019. (Emme Rose Santiagudo)

By: Emme Rose Santiagudo

A TOTAL of 4,808,839 voters from Western Visayas will troop to polling centers today, May 13, 2019, to cast their votes for the local and national elections.

The number of voters in the region account for 7.8 percent of the total voters in the country, according to the Commission on Elections (Comelec).

Based on Comelec 6 data, Negros Occidental is the most vote-rich province in the region with 1,889,200 voters.

Iloilo has 1,525,168 voters, Capiz (513,329), Aklan (390,360), Antique, (371,244) and Guimaras (119,538).

Negros Occidental ranked 5th in the most vote-rich province in the country while Iloilo ranked 9th.

Jose Nick Mendros, Comelec-6 director said they are expecting 80-85 percent voter turnout in the region.



Nonetheless, Mendros assured that the 7,109 clustered precincts and 3,554 voting centers in the region are ready to accommodate the voters.

On May 10, Comelec led the simultaneous final testing and sealing of Vote Counting Machines (VCMs) and Voter Registration Verification Machines (VRVM) in the region.

According to Mendros, the provinces of Guimaras and Antique have completed the final testing of their VCM machines.

“We are still trying to identify the places in the other provinces that have not completed their final testing and sealing,” he said in an interview on Sunday.

Mendros said the common problem during the final testing and sealing in the region is the configuration of SD cards which will contain the results and other pertinent election data.

But he assured that they have enough replacement cards for the affected precincts.

“We have replacement SD cards coming from the regional technical hub and we have personnel from Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and Department of Information and Communications Technology DICT,” Mendros said.

So far, no machine in the region needed replacement but just in case, Mendros assured that they have enough contingency units.

Mendros added that security personnel were deployed to the polling precincts in the region to facilitate a peaceful election.

Meanwhile, Mendros has again reminded the public that their vote is sacred.

“Our right to vote is sacred, it is not like a commodity na pwede nating ibenta, vote for leaders who would really foster change in our society,” he said.