No to extension of voter registration, says poll exec

THE Commission on Elections’ (Comelec) Cebu provincial office doesn’t favor the proposal to extend the duration of the voter’s registration process.

Lawyer Lionel Marco Castillano, Cebu Provincial Election Supervisor, said he would rather extend the registration time in order to accommodate more potential voters.

On Thursday, August 12, seven senators filed a resolution urging Comelec to move the deadline for voter registration from Sept. 30, 2021 to Oct. 31, 2021.

The senators argued that extending the deadline for voter registration was aimed at preventing “voter disenfranchisement” brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Castillano told SunStar that the national Comelec has already reached its quota of number of voters for the 2022 national elections.

Castillano said Comelec’s directors and supervisors also recommended not to postpone the national elections since their timeline will be affected, especially the shipping of the poll counting machines from Manila to other countries for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).

Castillano said by the second week of October, the Comelec central office will approve the total registrants before election officers can consolidate these to make the clustering of precincts.

By December 16, all data of registered voters including list of candidates and substitution of candidates will be gathered by the Information and Technology Department and inputted in the machines using SD cards, he added.

Castillano said that by January 2022 they will start to train public school teachers who will form part of the local electoral board.

As of July 19, 2021, Cebu Island had a total of 3,101,093 registered voters, of which 61,363 were new voters and 8,013 were reactivated voters. (MVE)