Comelec to let dead voters lie
MANILA, Philippines—This early, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) is increasing measures to purge the dead from the voter list.
In a recent resolution, the Comelec directed the National Statistics Office (NSO) to help in cleaning up the National List of Registered Voters, noting that the local civil registrars had not been successful at the task.
Under the Voter’s Registration Act of 1996, the local civil registrar is required to submit monthly a certified list of persons who had died to the election officer where the deceased were registered.
But the election body noted that the mechanism was not foolproof and should be improved since there were instances when a person died in a place where he was not a registered voter or he did not transfer his registration records to his last address before dying.
“[In those] cases, the names of the deceased voters would not be canceled from the list of voters,” according to Resolution No. 9712.
“The noncancellation of the names of deceased voters, when left unchecked, will pollute the [list] and raise issues as to the perpetuation of electoral fraud such as substituted voting using the names of deceased voters,” it added.
So the Comelec en banc has resolved that the NSO aid the commission by providing it with the National List of Deceased Persons of Voting Age from 2010 to 2013. The NSO was also instructed to update the list quarterly.
For its part, the Comelec said it would “trickle down” the list to its election officers (EOs).
“The [Comelec] resolves to direct the EOs to use as a basis for submission to the Election Registration Boards the names of deceased voters for cancellation of registration records,” said the commission.
Prior to the May 13 elections, the poll watchdog National Citizens’ Movement for Free Elections (Namfrel) disclosed that it had found more than 460 voters in the computerized voter list to be deceased.
These were found in five towns in Ilocos Sur, in five barangays (villages) in Mandaluyong City, in two towns in Guimaras, in Malabon City, Camarines Sur, Mountain Province and Aklan, according to Namfrel.