Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Comelec: If there’s a way to extend voter registration, why not?

THE Commission on Elections (Comelec), which has long resisted calls to extend the voter registration period, might give in to public clamor this time if officials can find a way to do so without hindering preparations for the May 2022 elections.

Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez on Saturday, September 25, 2021, said they would not mind breaking the poll body’s long standing policy and succumbing to public pressure if “it serves the interest of the nation.”

"What is important is we do everything we can to heed that call. If it is not feasible, then we will say so. But if we can find a way, then why shouldn't we?" Jimenez said in a virtual press briefing.

"The Comelec is effectively playing with fire. But this is a challenge we are willing to undertake in the service of the Filipino electorate," he added.

On September 24, the Comelec announced that it was going to hold an emergency meeting in the coming days to discuss calls to extend voter registration.

Several sectors have filed formal requests before the poll body. The voter registration period, which started on January 20, 2020, is scheduled to end on September 30, 2021.

Both the House of Representatives and the Senate have passed similar bills compelling the poll body to grant a one-month extension of voter registration.

To note, since shifting to the automated election system in 2010, the Comelec has extended the voter registration period only once.

But this was only after the Supreme Court approved the petition of Kabataan party-list to order the Comelec to extend voter registration for the May 2010 elections to January 9, 2010 from the original deadline of October 31, 2009. (HDT / SunStar Philippines)


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