THE Commission on Elections (Comelec) hopes to register 62 million voters, including first-timers, for next year’s presidential, congressional, regional and local elections.
Comelec records show that as of June this year, 60 million voters have already registered for the May 9, 2022 balloting, which is participatory democracy in action.
And with still three months before the registration of voters ends on September 30, the poll body is seen to even surpass the 62-million mark, according to observers.
Registrants must be at least 18 years of age on or before May 9. He/she must be a resident in the Philippines for at least one year and in the place where the applicant intends to vote for at least six months on or before election day.
As in past political exercises, some quarters, including poll officials, expect the voter turnout next year to be lower than the country’s total number of registered voters.
In the 2019 mid-term elections, the Comelec registered a 75 percent voter turnout, where only 46.3 million of the 61.8 million registered voters actually cast their ballots.
However, in the 2016 presidential elections, the poll body registered a high 84 percent voter turnout. That election year, the number of registered voters totaled 54 million.
“Dahil eleksyon ng pampangulohan, inaasahang maganda ang turnout ng mga botante sa darating na Mayo 9, 2022,” according to a lady voter who refused to be identified.
The nation’s registered voters go to the polls next year to elect the successor of President Rodrigo Duterte, who is barred by the 1987 Constitution from seeking re-election.
In the view of many, that’s the reason why people, particularly the poorest of the poor, want to register as voters to enable them to participate in the forthcoming elections.