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Comelec asked to extend voters’ registration deadline
QUEZON City Rep. Precious Hipolito Castelo on Saturday urged the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to extend its September 30 deadline for the registration of new voters.
“There are still a lot of qualified voters who want to register so they could exercise their right to vote starting with the May 2022 presidential-congressional-local elections,” Castelo said.
Add to this number of new electors are those whose registration has become inactive and who need to register again, she said.
“The Comelec should give these two groups of voters time to register or to renew their registration so they would be able to participate in the election of the country’s next president and other officials in May,” Castelo said.
Castelo also urged the poll body to find a more orderly and safe way of accommodating registrants so they would not be exposed to the highly infectious new coronavirus and its variants.
She expressed concern over qualified voters crowding Comelec offices in Quezon City as shown in television footages.
“Registration in this manner could become COVID-19 (coronavirus disease-19) super-spreader events. The Comelec has to decongest registration centers by designating other accessible listing venues,” she said.
For instance, the commission could undertake voter listing in barangays and villages, she said.
She said she has constituents who did not want to go to existing registration sites for fear of catching the virus.
Castelo pointed out that the Comelec still has time for extra days of voter listing.
“It can continue registering voters through barangay and village centers early next month while those running in the May elections are filing their certificates of candidacy,” she said.
She added that the 2022 polls are still seven months away.