The Philippine Star - Mail voting mulled for 2022 polls

News & Interviews
9 November 2020

By Mayen Jaymalin | The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — Just like in the recent United States presidential election, a Commission on Elections (Comelec) official is pushing for the adoption of mail voting for the May 2022 polls.

Comelec Commissioner Rowena Guanzon said early and mail voting for the May 2022 elections would enable more people to participate and exercise their right to suffrage.

Guanzon said the country’s existing local absentee voting law should be expanded to cover more sectors ahead of election day.

“Early voting and expanded local absentee voting can work. We have (a) local absentee (voting) law,” she posted on Twitter.

The turnout of votes will be high if mail voting will be expanded to cover persons with disability, the elderly and pregnant women, according to the Comelec official.

The local absentee voting law has allowed police, military, teachers and media who are on duty during the elections to cast their votes for the positions of president, vice president, senators and party-list representatives ahead of election day.

Guanzon, however, noted that early voting would require all ballots to be printed at least 60 days before election day and the list of candidates to be finalized earlier by the Comelec.

“Lack of preparation is the culprit in every election,” she said.

She added that the possibility of mail voting, but not necessarily through postal mail, should be considered unless the Philippine Postal Corp. (PhilPost) improves its present system.

“Generally, the people do not trust PhilPost to be speedy and honest... The Philippine postal service must be efficient and impartial,” the Comelec executive said.

In the US, voters are allowed to cast their votes through mail-in ballots as well as early voting ahead of Election Day.