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No online listup for new voters–Comelec

Policemen move in to control the crowd and prevent a stampede of voter registrants—many of whom have waited in line for hours—surging toward the Commission on Elections office in Arroceros, Manila, on July 31, 2013, to beat the last day of registration for the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections scheduled on Oct. 28. A Comelec official on Saturday, Aug. 3, 2013, nixed suggestions that first-time voters be allowed to register online to avoid a repeat of the chaotic scenes of hordes of registrants outside election offices.  EDWIN BELLOSILLO

MANILA, Philippines—A Commission on Elections (Comelec) official on Saturday nixed suggestions that first-time voters be allowed to register online to avoid a repeat of the chaotic scenes of hordes of registrants outside election offices on Wednesday.

Comelec spokesman James Jimenez said online registration was not feasible for first-time voters because the Continuing Registration Law requires registrants to personally appear before their local election officers.

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“So online registration does not meet that requirement. If we want online registration, we have to change the law first,” said Jimenez in an interview.

He said the Comelec could make it easier for registrants by providing the registration forms online but first-time voters would still have to submit these in person to their local election officers.

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Personal interview

“We could do that. It would be like checking in online for your flight. But as of now, we still don’t have a mechanism for that,” Jimenez said.

“Also, it is important for our local election officers to interview (registrants) to determine if they are really local residents,” he said.

Jimenez said a personal interview could be dispensed with only when Filipinos already have a national ID card.

 

Last-day registrants

“But since we don’t have that, then the personal interview is still needed,” he said.

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Hordes of would-be registrants flocked to Comelec offices on Wednesday, the last day of the 10-day special registration for the barangay elections in October, baffling Comelec officials.

The Comelec will review the list of new voters, many of whom they believe to be double registrants or flying voters.

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TAGS: Commission on Elections (Comelec), new voters, registration
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