Voters with corrupted, incomplete biometrics can still vote in 2016 – Comelec
MANILA, Philippines — Registered voters with incomplete and corrupted biometrics data will still be allowed to vote in the May 2016 national and local polls, according to the Commission on Elections (Comelec).
Meanwhile, voters without biometrics are now being purged from the voters list.
“We will separate the number of voters without biometrics and those with incomplete as well as those supposedly with biometrics but which were corrupted in the database, they will not be deactivated. They will still be allowed to vote in the May 2016 polls,” said Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez.
Jimenez has cited Comelec Resolution No. 10013, which provides that registration records of voters with incomplete and corrupted biometrics data shall not be deactivated and be allowed to vote in next year’s polls.
He explained that there were instances when the complete biometrics of voters were not taken during validation because of technical problems in the registration system.
Some voters, he added, were told to come back the next day to have their fingerprints taken but most did not come back.
“Other cases were the result of deadline beating during the last few days of the registration period,” Jimenez said.
The Comelec, however, said that those who would be allowed to vote despite not having complete biometrics data would have to complete their records at a later date.
Jimenez said that allowing those with incomplete as well as corrupted biometrics to vote was aimed at minimizing the number of those to be disenfranchised in the next elections.
“We think of getting more people to vote, that’s the most important. Let us not punish those with incomplete biometrics, especially those voters who have records that got corrupted not because it’s their fault. So we’re allowing them to exercise their right of suffrage,” he said.
The poll official added that the effort of those who braved the long lines just to register should not be wasted.
“Those who strived hard to register or have their biometrics taken, what you did was a good thing. It will not be a wasted effort,” JImenez added.
Under the “Mandatory Biometrics Voter Registration Act,” the Comelec is authorized to deactivate registration records of voters, who fail to submit for validation, on or before the last day of filing of application for registration for purposes of the May 2016 polls.
Section 8 of Republic Act No. 10367, though, specifically states that those records that will be deactivated are those registration records of voters without biometrics data or who failed to submit for validation.
Last week, the Comelec started the deactivation process for voters without biometrics data as provided by RA 10367. SFM
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