Comelec says low voter registration turnout ‘expected’

Comelec says low voter registration turnout ‘expected’

MANILA – Only over 200,000 applications were recorded since the restart of voter registration early this month, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) reported on Monday.

Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez said the low number of registration is expected since the country is in the middle of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.

“The number is a little bit low and that’s expected since we are still experiencing this crisis in the last three to four weeks. We only have more or less 250,000 nationwide, 250,000 transactions processed nationwide. In previous times pre-Covid, that number only represents the National Capital Region (NCR), but now it’s nationwide,” he said during the Laging Handa briefing.

The figures are still far from their projected number of possible voters at 4 million.

“Again this is expected, we know that there is a slow in the number of people going to registration centers at this time but we expect it to pick up. In total, we have about 4 million Filipinos that are likely to register this period so we are kinda far from that number,” he said.

Jimenez urged the public to take advantage of the early days of the registration and to not wait for the deadline.

“We are hoping that those who are looking participate in the coming polls to have themselves register at this time. They should not wait for the registration centers to be crowded or beat the deadline,” he added.

Comelec chairman Sheriff Abas, who is also one of the guests at the briefing, has encouraged the public to register at this time and take advantage of the long period of registration.

“Avail of the registration period, this will run for one year. We should not wait for the last day, that is usually our problem during registration. There were people who are asking for an expedition I told to take advantage of the long period of registration,” he said.

The voter registration has resumed on Sept. 1 nationwide, except in areas under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) or modified ECQ.

Applications are accepted every Tuesdays to Saturdays, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Offices of Election Officers in places where the applicants want to vote.

The registration runs until September 30, 2021. (PNA)

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