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Comelec anticipates at least 75% voter turnout in Bangsamoro plebiscite

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THE COMMISSION on Elections (Comelec) is expecting a high voter turnout during the plebiscite on the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL). “We expect that there will be high turnout. Historically speaking, elections in those regions have been enjoying high turnout rates, so upwards of 75%,” Comelec Spokesperson James B. Jimenez said in a press briefing on Monday. “We have… 2,839,659 registered voters distributed over 18,439 established precincts, which on election day translates to 9,377 polling places,” he added. The plebiscite is set on two dates: Jan. 21 for the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao and the cities of Isabela and Cotabato; and Feb. 6 for the areas in the provinces of Cotabato and Lanao del Norte. Canvassing for the Jan. 21 votes will be convened the next day at the Comelec headquarters in Intramuros, Manila. The Comelec En Banc will sit as the National Plebiscite Board of Canvassers, which will oversee the canvassing. Meanwhile, Comelec Vice-Chairperson for the Printing Committee Maria Victoria S. Dulcero said the printing of ballots for Jan. 21 has been completed while the remaining 600,000 ballots for Feb. 6 are expected to be finished within this week. — Gillian M. Cortez