Business World : Mail-in voting not a viable option for 2022 polls, says Comelec

11 June 2021

By Business World

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Friday ruled out the possibility of implementing mail-in voting for the upcoming polls.

Online voting will not be a viable option for the 2022 polls and will only happen “in the future elections,” Philip Luis Marin, a member of the Comelec Office for Overseas Voting, said at a virtual briefing on Friday.

The poll body earlier asked the Congress to file a bill that would institutionalize mail-in voting as an alternative way of voting amid the pandemic. Seniors and people with disabilities should be allowed to vote by mail, it said.

A progressive bloc in the House of Representatives last year filed a measure seeking to create a manual-automation election system in the country to avoid transparency issues.

Meanwhile, Mr. Martin said about 1.6 million Filipinos abroad have yet to register for the 2022 elections.

He said the poll body is expecting more than 580,000 overseas voters to participate in next year’s polls.

The Comelec official said only 31.30% of the 1.37 million Filipinos abroad participated in the 2016 elections, while 18.46% of the 1.82 million registered overseas voters voted in the 2019 midterm elections.

Mr. Marin said Filipinos at least 18 years old who are abroad or who will be abroad during the 30-day overseas voting period from April 10 to May 9, 2022 may register to participate in the elections. — Kyle Aristophere Atienza