Group seeks voter’s registration extension
Posted March 30, 2009on:
By Anna Valmero
First Posted 14:41:00 03/30/2009
Filed Under: Elections, Eleksyon 2010
MANILA, Philippines—Youth group Kabataang Pinoy urged the Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Monday to extend the deadline of voters’ registration from October to December to accommodate more youth voters, an official said.
In the petition letter filed Monday, Kabataang Pinoy secretary general Vencer Crisostomo said the poll automation should not be used as a reason to move the deadline of voter’s registration to October.
Crisostomo said some youth voters might be disenfranchised if they’re deprived of their right to suffrage.
In a separate interview, Comelec commissioner Rene Sarmiento invited the youth group to discuss this matter, adding that this “petition from Kabataang Pinoy is a new proposal, the first time we received after we released the resolution 8585.”
“I cannot speak on behalf of the Commission although I see the wisdom of more youth voters for 2010. However, their request that more youth will register on December may not be factually supported because youth are eager to spend [the] vacation,” said Sarmiento, noting registration records do not support the youth group’s claim.
Sarmiento said the poll body passed Resolution No. 8585 on Feb. 12 to “harmonize the time line of Comelec for poll automation with the preparation or pre-election activities needed for the automation of the 2010 polls.”
This resolution also moved the deadline of voters’ registration to October.
The resolution included Saturdays and holidays, except Holy Thursday and Good Friday as additional registration days. This is to accommodate the youth, students and workers who don’t have time to register, according to Sarmiento.
Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez added the registration on Saturdays and holidays added more days in the voters’ registration period despite the earlier deadline.