Don’t make the pandemic an excuse not to register, ex-Comelec exec tells voters
CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Misamis Oriental, Philippines — The coronavirus pandemic should not be a reason for people who are eligible to vote not to register as voters for the 2022 elections, Gregorio Larrazabal, former commissioner of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) in a recent huddle with reporters and bloggers in this city.
“When you encourage people to register and vote, it’s empowering them. It’s making them realize that they have a voice in a democracy,” Larrazabal said.
“To register as a voter and vote on election day is emphasizing or you’re telling the world that ‘I have a stake in our democracy, I have a say in where the country is going in the future,’” he added.
Last year was quite alarming, he said, that Comelec recorded only 863,309 registrants during the registration that began on Sept. 1.
According to Comelec, there are at least four million people who are eligible to vote in the 2022 elections.
“If you have the time to go to the bank or the grocery, if you can go out, you can register or vote,” Larrazabal said.
Larrazabal, a strong advocate of voter education, emphasized how crucial it was to keep reminding the people about the importance of exercising their right of suffrage — “even if it sounds like a broken record.”
“You just keep on harping people and people will remember. Hopefully, a number of those who remember will take action by registering as a voter,” he said.
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