By Robertzon Ramirez | The Philippine Star
MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has recently authorized a virtual reactivation of records for delisted voters amid the increasing number of COVID-19 cases in the country.
Comelec spokesman James Jimenez said the online reactivation would allow voters who missed two elections to reactivate their records, a move that is especially geared for individuals with special needs and senior citizens who are barred from going outside during the pandemic.
“Because of the pandemic, they may find it hard to reactive their registrations. So we recently authorized the use of online procedures for reactivation. This will involve getting in touch with the election officer via email and then sending registration forms,” he pointed out.
Instead of personally processing the reactivation, Jimenez said interested individuals could coordinate with their election officers who will give the instructions through their official email address.
The Comelec, he added, will make the email addresses of election officers public.
Jimenez clarified, though, that the online reactivation will only be available to individuals who already have existing biometrics records with the Comelec. Those who still do not have it need to personally appear before a Comelec office to have these taken.
“Our law provides that a voter’s biometrics must be in the system. So, if we still don’t have it in our database, a person has to have these taken and this is only possible if one appears in person,” he explained partly in Filipino.
Despite the postponement of voters’ registration due to the pandemic in some parts of the country, Comelec Commissioner Rowena Guanzon said they have already reached 5,727,223 new registrants as of Friday.
There are only 46 days left before the last day of voters’ registration on Sept. 30.
Guanzon also revealed that Comelec would deliberate next week the resolution filed by at least seven senators, asking the poll body to extend the voters’ registration by at least a month to avoid the disenfranchisement of voters.
Although the Comelec has yet to decide on the matter, Guanzon said the deadline for voters’ registration will not change.
‘Go out and register’
Meanwhile, the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) has renewed its call for the public to go and visit their Comelec office to register for the May 2022 national and local elections.
Bro. Johnny Cardenas, PPCRV national vice chairman, said in an interview over the Church-run Radyo Veritas that people’s participation in the 2022 polls is important and this can only be done if they have registered with the poll body.
Cardenas said new registrants would play an important role in next year’s elections as they represent a huge percentage in the number of voters, along with those who have been delisted by the Comelec for failure to vote in two elections.
He added that people should not only register, but also vote wisely on election day.