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COMELEC urged to purge voters’ list

from NAMFREL Election Monitor Vol.2, No.18

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Malacañang and the House of Representatives are gearing for and have made initial steps to cleanse the voters’ list in time for the 2013 elections.

The House of Representatives approved a bill (HB 3469, with Rep. Susan Yap as principal author) seeking to have the voters’ list purged. Under the bill, registered voters will just have to go to the election officer in their city/municipality to validate their registration. The voters’ biometrics will then be captured using Data Capturing Machines (DCMs),after which the Commission on Elections (Comelec) will produce the list with biometrics data as a security measure.

Apart from the clean list, the Comelec will have another list for multiple and illegal registrants with biometrics as well for reference. The House further asserted that by referring to this list, those who cheat by resorting to multiple or illegal registration can be prosecuted in the future.
The Palace on the other hand has committed to push for the cleansing of voters’ list, particularly in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM). A Palace official said that this is in response to the clamor of various concerned groups in the region
to have a clean list of registered voters to ensure that elections are done in an honest and credible manner. “The ARMM election was postponed so we can purge the voters’ list of the ARMM and make sure that those who are in the list that are actually residents and voters”, reiterated Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda.

On annulling the existing voters’ list in Maguindanao

Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes said that the poll body is not inclined to grant the request by Maguindanao Governor Esmael Mangudadatu to trash the existing voters’ list and to conduct a new registration ofthe voters to obtain a fresh and clean one. He stressed that such process would entail unpleasant precedents, aside from being costly.
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“If we would annul the voters’ list in Maguindanao, other areas in ARMM like Sulu, Basilan, Lanao del Sur would also ask for the nullification of the voters’ list in their province,” Brillantes said. He further added, “Every time you go to an annulment and new registration, it’s a very expensive process.”

Overseas absentee voters’ registration

The Comelec in August 3, 2011 has promulgated Resolution no. 9269 that sets the general instructions for the resumption of the continuing registration of overseas absentee voters in time for the May 2013 elections. The period for filing applications is from October 31, 2011 to October 31, 2012. Applicants may process their registration before the Comelec’s representatives at the designated posts that have jurisdiction over the place where the registrants are temporarily based.
 
 
 
 
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