Have you registered for the upcoming national elections yet? Well, you only have a little over a month to do so. According to ABS-CBN News Online, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) will no longer extend the voter registration deadline, which is set until September 30. This is despite calls from various sectors who’ve cited over 100 days lost in the registration period due to quarantine restrictions brought about by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
“Citing operational concerns, particularly with the timeline associated with the preparations for the 2022 elections, the Commission en banc voted, by majority vote, not to extend the registration period,” Comelec spokesman James Jimenez said.
Voters are required to go to local offices in person because the poll body needs to take the biometric record of voters. As a compromise though, the poll body said it will be extending registration hours, and its local offices will be open on weekends. It has even launched an app to make the process easier.
“However, the commission did unanimously approve a package of modifications that was proposed by the Comelec Election and Barangay Affairs Department that would allow people to register even on Saturdays and holidays for the remainder of the registration period,” said Jimenez.
An extension is said to not be possible anymore as Comelec has to finalize the project of precincts in December. The elections will be held May 9 next year. The project of precincts identifies each clustered precinct and its corresponding polling place/polling center and assigned voters.
Given the gravity of the upcoming elections on the country’s future and pandemic response, it’s absolutely important for those eligible to vote to exercise their right to do so. The stakes are high, and every vote counts. That’s why if you haven’t registered yet, you absolutely should.