It’s final: Comelec won’t extend voter registration deadline

THE Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Wednesday, September 15 thumbed down requests by the Senate and House of Representatives for an extension of the voter registration period to prevent disenfranchisement of voters.Comelec Commissioner Marlon Casquejo told the Joint Congressional Oversight Committee on the Automated Election System (JCO), co-chaired by Sen. Maria Imelda Josefa “Imee” Marcos and Rep. Elpidio Bargaza Jr., that the Comelec en banc has decided with finality not to entertain any call for another extension of the voter registration beyond September 30.Casquejo reiterated the poll body’s explanation that it couldn’t extend the voter registration deadline because doing so would adversely affect other deadlines.”One is the preparation of our Project of Precincts, the decision as to the number of registered voters per clustered precincts,” he said.Determining the total number of voters would help the Comelec finalize how many clustered precincts and vote-counting machines would be needed.”Also, it will go with the filing of the [certificates of candidacy], which starts on October 1,” he added.The Senate on Tuesday, September 14, adopted Senate Resolution (SR) 851 seeking the extension of the voter registration period up to Oct. 31, 2021, from the original deadline of September 30.According to Rep. Bargaza Jr., the House of Representatives had adopted a similar resolution.Before the Senate resolution’s adoption, Sen. Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan delivered a privilege speech detailing the plight of Filipinos who had to wait in long lines when voter registration resumed in Metro Manila last September 6 after it was suspended due to quarantine restrictions.
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