Senators Seek One-Month Extension of Voter Registration

To prevent voter disenfranchisement.
Photo/s: Jerome Ascaño

Seven senators are urging the Commission on Elections to extend the voter registration period for one month after it was disrupted due to fresh COVID-19 lockdowns in Metro Manila and other areas.

The resolution filed by Senators Francis Pangilinan, Ralph Recto, Franklin Drilon, Nancy Binay, Leila De Lima, Risa Hontiveros and Joel Villanueva wants the Comelec to move the voter registration deadline to Oct. 31, 2021 from Sept. 30 to prevent voters from being disenfranchised.

Voter registration in areas under the two strictest quarantine classifications, ECQ and MECQ, are suspended.

The senators said a one-month extension would not unduly hamper or delay the Comelec's preparation of precincts for the 2022 elections. They added that in previous elections, the deadline for voter registration was set beyond Oct. 31.

"Comelec set the Sept. 30, 2021 deadline before the COVID-19 pandemic. In this connection, Comelec could not have anticipated the adverse impact of the pandemic on voter registration and must make the necessary adjustments to allow more unregistered potential voters to register," the resolution read.

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The Comelec earlier said it was studying the possibility of extending the voter registration period following its suspension in some areas.

The commission was targeting to reach at least 61 million voters for the upcoming 2022 elections. As of early July, it reported that a total of 60 million voters were registered.

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