Editorial: Preparing for 2025 elections

Editorial: Preparing for 2025 elections
Editorial Cartoon by John Montecillo

Are we ready for the 2025 national and local elections?

First, every eligible citizen must make sure to be registered to participate in the polls.

Last Feb. 12, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) launched its seven-month registration for the 2025 midterm election.

Citizens have until Sept. 30 to register. Not waiting until the deadline is essential to avoid long lines, last-minute glitches, and the usual setbacks.

Register at any Comelec office or satellite sites at selected malls and schools.

Last Feb. 12, the Comelec launched its Registered Anywhere Program (RAP), “one-stop shops” at selected sites that are expected to register voters within 10 minutes.

The RAP sites are open until Aug. 31, 2024. Comelec offices will register voters from Monday to Saturday, except on holidays, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

To facilitate registration, citizens must come with a filled-in registration form (downloaded from the Comelec website or procured for free at a Comelec office) and valid identification (ID) cards showing a person’s signature.

The Comelec projects three million new voters, bringing to a total about 71 million voters for the 2025 midterm election.

Whether new or old, these 71 million voters must prepare in other ways to make the 2025 national and local elections matter as a democratic process.

Politicians have been networking with academics and groups to conduct political surveys, with the primary interest to determine a politician’s chances of winning.

These privately commissioned surveys will also calibrate the extent money and other resources will be transfused in the political machinery that is the lifeblood of elections in

this country.

Such a cynical view of elections as a political horserace among politicians and parties jockeying for public offices that siphon power, wealth, and influence pervades our culture.

Yet, a counterforce comes from citizens who commit to democratic processes as avenues to put into office individuals and groups who will put public welfare at the center of governance.

It is imperative for voters to educate themselves about the role of surveys in shaping perceptions and influencing electoral outcomes.

When one is asked to participate in a survey, a crucial question revolves around legitimacy and trust: How does one tell a political poll is legitimate?

According to an Oct. 27, 2022 article on Wisconsin Public Radio (wpr.org), a legitimate poll will not attempt to sell anything or get personal information that should remain confidential, such as credit card information.

Wpr.org also advises that one has a right to ask for the person or group sponsoring the poll. Should a pollster refuse to disclose the sponsor, citizens have the right not to participate as the non-disclosure disables them from giving informed consent for their participation and the pollsters’ use of their information.

Being able to have information about who is behind a political survey enables participants to assess whether their invested time and inputs in the poll translates into giving substantial and representative information on issues citizens want politicians to know as essential for public welfare.

According to wpr.org, when a survey uses scientific methods, the aim is to give every eligible person an opportunity to participate and express experiences and opinions.

In a “push poll,” the objective is to influence respondents’ perceptions; thus, the questions are slanted towards a negative or positive stance on a subject.

Using telemarketing strategies, push pollsters manipulate respondents to take a desired stance, which is the main objective of the person or group commissioning the survey.

Knowing these possibilities and pitfalls—for articulation or manipulation of views—empowers a citizen to assess the legitimacy of political polls, re-emerging again as the nation draws closer to the 2025 elections.


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