The Commission on Elections said at least 9.6 million registered voters nationwide will not be allowed to vote in the 2016 elections if they fail to update their voters’ records using the biometrics.
Comelec chairman Sixto Brillantes said registration through the biometrics system is compulsory in the 2016 polls.
“Voters who don’t have biometrics are automatically disqualified to vote. Therefore, I’m requesting all old registered voters to verify the validation of their registration at the local Comelec offices within the 17-month period of continuing registration,” he said.
“Never mind the new qualified registrants as they will automatically undergo the biometrics process once they register,” he added.
Brillantes, who was in Laoag during the voters’ registration launch on May 6, appealed to voters to register now noting that there won’t be an extension after the 17 month-voter’s registration.
The Comelec expects 3 million new voters to sign up during the registration period. All Comelec offices nationwide are open during Saturdays and Sundays.
Data from the poll body showed that 18 percent or 9.6 million voters of the 53 million registered voters in the country don’t have biometrics.
The Comelec earlier launch a walking expedition from Laoag passing through key cities in Regions I to III until Sorsogon to promote the biometrics registration from May 6 to October 21 next year.
The continuing system of registration and validation of voters is realized in preparation for the 2016 synchronized national and local elections pursuant to Republic Act 10367 and Comelec Resolution 9853.
Lawyer John Paul Martin, Laoag City Comelec officer, said the city has 24,000 registered voters, who don’t have biometrics.
Director James Jimenez, Comelec spokesperson and director of the Education and Information Division (EID), is behind the project to remind the importance of voter’s registration and validation.
With a theme: “walkah walkah:” Step Juan Tungo sa Mulat na Botante; the walking expedition nationwide kicked off in Laoag.
“We focused our “walkah-walkah campaign” in Regions 1 and 3 for Luzon because these regions had almost 500,000 registered voters who don’t have biometrics,” Jimenez said.
Meanwhile, the Comelec eyes to distribute more Precincts Counting Optical Scan (PCOS) machines to reduce the ratio from 1000 to 600 voters per PCOS machine. (FREDDIE G. LAZARO)