Comelec ‘remains confident’ of ‘sizeable’ voter turnout despite COVID-19 fears
MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) “remains confident” that the 2022 national elections would still have a “sizable voter turnout” amid fears that the COVID-19 pandemic would reduce voter turnout, its spokesperson said on Wednesday.
Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez made the reaction after Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri, in his privilege speech, cited a Pulse Asia survey he commissioned which revealed that 46 percent of the respondents would not go out to vote if the number of cases is high in their barangay (villages).
“The Comelec remains confident of a sizable voter turnout despite COVID-19 fears,” Jimenez told reporters in a message thread.
“This projection is borne out by international experience — most, if not all, elections in other jurisdictions showed a higher than average voter turnout — and local experience in the Palawan Plebiscite last March 2021,” he added.
Zubiri also expressed concern that the election result would not reflect “the vote of the majority of Filipinos,” if the survey turned out to be right.
Jimenez said the Comelec “gratefully acknowledges” the senator’s concern, noting that it took precautions to ensure election safety.
Jimenez, however, also pointed out that: “In any case, voter turnout is in no way determinative of the validity of electoral exercises.”
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