The National Citizens’ Movement for Free Elections (NAMFREL) released a second update on its observations on the conduct of the March 18, 2023 Plebiscites in Marawi City, Lanao del Sur to ratify the creation of Barangays Boganga II and Datu Dalidigan in Marawi City. NAMFREL has been accredited by the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) as citizens’ arm for the Marawi Plebiscites, and for these electoral exercises, NAMFREL Lanao del Sur has deployed teams of volunteers to observe the plebiscite day procedures being conducted in two voting centers in Marawi City.
The second update covers the closing and counting processes observed in the polling places. Observations are sent by observers through NAMFREL observation forms, as well as through phone calls.
NAMFREL observers reported that both of the two polling places in Bito Elementary School — one of two voting centers used for the plebiscites — ended voting early and had already conducted the counting process before 3pm when voting was supposed to end. According to the PlebComs’ tally, only three voters (2 from one polling place and only one for the other) did not come to vote in this school in today’s plebiscite. NAMFREL observers said they did not anymore see voters who came while counting was being done before the 3pm cutoff. In the other voting center used — Kilala Primary School — all three polling places in the school ended voting on time at 3pm.
NAMFREL observers also reported that counting in the polling places went on without incident, and that the PlebComs appeared knowledgeable of the process.
The canvassing of votes will be held later today at the session hall of the Marawi City Hall. NAMFREL will follow the canvassing process, and will be submitting a final report to the COMELEC on the findings of the observation, identifying areas that could be further strengthened, and recommending measures to help ensure the conduct of safer and more efficient electoral exercises.