The provincial election supervisor here has urged all government officials, police and military authorities as well as members of the media to submit their applications for absentee voting the soonest possible time.
Lawyer Dinah Cagampang-Sapong, in an interview with PNA, said the military and the police have until March 15 while the members of the media until March 31 to submit their applications to avail of the absentee voting privilege.
Sapong said the application forms are now available at the Provincial Comelec Office at Capitol Compound, Pagadian City or may be downloaded from www.comelec.gov.ph, the official website of the Commissions on Elections (Comelec).
This absentee voting privilege is contained under Resolution 9637, which outlines the rules for early voting for security authorities, poll watchers and other government employees and members of the media, Sapong said.
The media practitioners include the following: print journalists, television journalists, photo journalists, online journalists, radio journalists, documentary makers, and television/radio production staff.
Sapong said government officials and employees including the military and police who are duly registered voters are allowed to vote for national positions only such as senators and party-list representatives in places where they are not registered, but where they are temporarily assigned to perform election duties on Election Day as provided under Executive Order No. 157 and Republic Act No. 7166.
She also said media members availing themselves of absentee voting will be able to vote only for national candidates like senators and party-list.
"You can vote only once," she said citing "the penalty is harsh for those who will vote twice."
Media voters shall vote in the Comelec office where they filed their applications to avail the local absentee voting, she said.
The media entity or corporation to which the applicant is employed should also provide a certification that the applicant is a bonafide employee and may not be able to vote due to the performance of his functions in covering and reporting the conduct of elections.