Comelec expects bigger turnout of voter applicants

Published September 1, 2020, 7:31 PM

by Leslie Ann Aquino

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) expects the number of voter applicants who will register for the May, 2022 polls to increase in the coming days.

Comelec spokesman James Jimenez

“Still low, but the interest is clear, and we expect in the next few days many will still register,” Comelec spokesman James Jimenez said in a television interview Tuesday.

According to the poll official, the first day of the resumption of voter registration proceeded very smoothly.

Jimenez particularly cited Manila, Pasay, and Taguig which he personally visited.

“It’s okay for the most part… social distancing was maintained,” he said.

He said there was only a slowdown because many of those arriving to register did not download the form ahead of time.

“The form is available in our offices. But we encourage them to download ahead,” said Jimenez

“They get a form and fill it up that takes them up to 30 minutes… that’s where the slowdown happens. But for the rest of the procedures, there’s no problem,” he added.

Jimenez said social distancing was also not a problem within the Comelec premises.

“Example in Makati, in the compound used by Comelec social distancing was good. But when you get to the street, which is not controlled by Comelec, there’s crowding. That’s why we are talking to local law enforcers to help us,” he said.

Meanwhile, Jimenez also commented on the report that Metro Manila mayors want Comelec to move the resumption of the voter registration next year or until the Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ) is already in effect.

“It’s kinda late in the day because we already started. We have been talking about resuming registration for roughly four weeks now. And I think the timing is unfortunate,” he said.

“So we will see what happens when they see that request from the mayors. As far as the Comelec is concerned, we are a little keen in continuing the registration because it has been suspended for months,” added Jimenez.

Voter registration resumed nationwide on Tuesday, except in areas under Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) or Modified ECQ.

The poll body said voter registration will automatically resume in areas under ECQ or MECQ once the quarantine status is either downgraded to General Community Quarantine (GCQ) or MGCQ, or if quarantine is lifted entirely.

It added that voter registration in areas not currently under quarantine, or which are under MGCQ or GCQ, shall automatically be suspended in the event their quarantine status is upgraded to MECQ or ECQ.