By: Rodrigo S. Victoria
Naval, Biliran (2 December) – The Provincial Election Supervisor (PES) of the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) here urged new voters to register as COMELEC registration of new voters starts today in preparation for the 2010 elections.
Atty. Sabino C. Mejarito in an interview this morning, disclosed that all the Municipal Election Offices (MEOs) are now ready to register new voters starting today, December 2, 2008 until December 15, 2009 nationwide.
He said all MEOs are open from 8:00 o’clock in the morning to 5:00 o’clock in the afternoon, Monday to Friday so that maximum number of new voters can register.
He added that those who are qualified to register are the youth who already reached the age of 18, voters who changed their family name due to change in marital status or the correction of entry and active voters who transferred to a place as his new residence.
The COMELEC official clarified that deactivated voters who wanted to be reactivated from the list of voters due to his failure to vote twice in the last two consecutive elections and those transferees with reactivation can register by next year yet after a hearing to be conducted by the members of the Election Registration Board (ERB) for that purpose in January 2009.
Youth voters who will reach the age of 18 in May 2010 cannot register this year but they are qualified to register next year, the COMELEC official added.
Atty. Mejarito explained that the processing of the registration of new voters will be made through Data Capturing Machine (DCM) where a registrant’s personal information such as picture and other relevant data will be encoded in the machine.
Another feature of the DCM is that taking of the registrant’s fingerprint will be done through a process called biometrics in order to ensure that there will be no double registration, he said.
In order to maximize the registration of voters, Atty. Mejarito plans to establish satellite COMELEC offices in schools in far-flung barangays in the province. This he said, will provide comfort and convenience to the new voters to register aside from encouraging bigger participation in the registration.
He projected an increase of 20,000 new voters especially coming from the youth group after December 2009 that will be added to the 88,541 registered voters in Biliran province during the synchronized local and national elections in May 2007.
He estimated that 20 million new registered voters nationwide will come from the voting population aged 35 below after the registration in 2009 which when added will make the total voting population of the country from 48 to 50 million in 2010 elections. (PIA-Biliran)