Comelec 7 exec laments low registrant turnout

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Comelec logo

THE Commission on Elections (Comelec) 7 has stepped up its efforts to avoid the “last-minute-syndrome” of voters or the rush of registrants that is often experienced at the end of every registration period.

In an interview, Comelec 7 spokesman Omar Sharif Mamalinta said they will continue to bring the registration process closer to the voters through the Register Anywhere Program (RAP). The registration deadline will be on Sept. 30, 2024.

Mamalinta lamented that even though the Comelec offices open Mondays through Saturdays and even on holidays, the turnout of voter registrants remains low.

To improve the turnout, Comelec held its third RAP session on Friday, June 14, at the Cebu Institute of Technology-University (CIT-U) in Cebu City together with a voters’ education program. A total of 478 voters registered during the Comelec’s satellite registration at the CIT-U.

Last Feb. 27, a similar activity was held at the University of San Carlos-Talamban campus where 210 voters were registered.

The following day, Feb. 28, a registration drive was conducted at Cebu Doctors’ University in Mandaue City where a total of 481 registrants were served.

Similar programs have also been launched in the provinces of Negros Oriental, Bohol and Siquijor.

Comelec is aiming for a five-percent nationwide increase in registrants from the previous Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections.

The satellite registration fair, voter’s education and RAP initiatives of the Comelec cater to the schools’ students, faculty, working personnel and even “outsiders” who want to avail themselves of the service.

Concern

“The possible consequence if they flock on the last day of registration is the failure to accommodate everybody which will result in disenfranchisement,” said Mamalinta.

“If the voting populace will be vigilant enough to avail of the said activity at an earlier date, we will definitely be able to accommodate everyone,” he said.

The poll body started its voter registration last Feb. 12. The RAP allows people to register without being restricted to the Comelec offices in their area or to their current addresses.

“We are here towards our goal for a five-percent nationwide increase. So, towards the end of Sept. 30, 2024, hopefully we will be able to reach 3.3 million additional voters,” said Mamalinta in a mix of Cebuano and English. / CDF

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