Comelec engages youth in voters’ education campaign

THE Know Elections Better Superfriends (Kebs) campaign of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) engages the youth to actively participate in the electoral process to transform a carefree mentality into drawing interest through voter education in choosing the right leaders who could manage without compromising the interest of the community and the country.

The National Youth Commission (NYC), in partnership with the Comelec, engaged youth leaders in Baguio City and Benguet during the Kebs electoral education campaign designed to attract millennials who hold the future of the country and urged them to take an active role in the electoral process in selecting worth deserving leaders.

Comelec Northern Luzon cluster head lawyer John Paul Martin stressed the electoral process does not end in merely voting but in ensuring that one’s vote has been counted.

It includes monitoring the performance of winning candidates. That is how powerful the voters are which is analogous to a human resources officer who scrutinizes applicants to a position.

“My Stand, My Choice, My Move,” the core of the Kebs campaign infuses some key points in the electoral process and encompasses the importance of elections, criteria of free and fair elections, election rights, how important is one’s vote.

Martin underscored the importance of elections. Being in a democratic country, it should be a customized government to change something to suit the needs of the people, for protection against tyranny and dictatorship and to prevent stagnation of the country.

“Elections are free and fair when it can expect accurate results, without unreasonable restrictions, without fear, and the qualified can vote,” he said.

Among the rights of adult citizens as expounded are the right to vote, impartial registration system, not to be deprived of the right to vote unless for cause prescribed by law, appeal disqualification, equal access to polling stations, “One Voter, One Vote” policy, and protection of ballot secrecy.

He stressed the importance of individual vote comparing it to a grain of salt that when taken together makes a difference.

“My Choice” takes into consideration informed choice, qualifications and responsibilities of elected officials and setting one’s criteria, the Comelec official said.

"Considering that it’s our choice we take the risk and deserve the leaders we voted for, therefore we are accountable to their performance," according to Martin.

The selling of votes and “utang na loob” mentality he said should not be the basis in selecting whom to vote.

He said the interest of the community should not be compromised with self-interest "if we opt for progress for the improvement of the quality of life of the whole community."

Differences in opinion as to who is a “good candidate” should also be discussed with people whose opinions you trust and respect or use decision criteria proposed by various groups but the bottom line is the choice is yours alone to make, Martin stressed.

Comelec is asking volunteers to organize voter education events in school or community and spread the word and connect with others and share to peers, family, and community.

“We have all the resources but we just don’t have the proper managers. If we want change, we must vote wisely,” Martin quipped. (PIA-CAR)
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