THE Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Friday, October 15, 2021, defended its decision to end registration of overseas voters at an earlier date than their local counterparts, saying the two sectors have different operational requirements.

According to Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez, it would be difficult to extend overseas voter registration until October 30, which is the deadline for the local voter registration.

"The difference in extension periods is necessary, and due to the unique circumstances of overseas voting," said Jimenez.

He said one difference is the earlier start of the voting period for overseas voters.

"The preparatory activities have a much tighter timetable, considering that voting overseas starts 30 days before the local elections do," said Jimenez.

To recall, the Comelec en banc extended the local voter registration period from October 11 to 30, 2021.

On the other hand, the overseas voter registration was extended from October 1 to 14, 2021.

Groups of overseas Filipinos, though, have called on the Comelec to extend the deadline to October 30, 2021 for overseas voter registration. (HDT / SunStar Philippines)