Despite the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) believes the voter turnout in the May 2022 polls will be 80 percent or even higher.
“We think we are going to hit 80 percent again despite this pandemic. In fact, it might even be higher,” Comelec Spokesperson James Jimenez said in an online townhall forum on July 8.
He said countries that held their elections during the pandemic actually saw an increase in their voter turnout.
Jimenez said this was also true during the March 2021 Palawan plebiscite.
“In Palawan, when we had the plebiscite, our expectations was only 40 percent voter turnout. As it happened, we reached 61 percent,” he said.
Jimenez also said that the voter turnout during presidential elections is usually higher compared to the midterm polls.
“Normally, the voter turnout during elections is like a wave. It goes up during presidential elections, and goes down during midterm elections. In 2016, we had a voter turnout of 80 percent. In 2019, we had about 76 percent voter turnout,” he said.
Jimenez said having a high voter turnout is possible.
“How do we achieve that? We achieve that by mobilizing everyone we know. As they say, ‘each one, bring one.’ When we help each other we can all vote,” he said.