Lack of biometrics impacts purge of voters' list

By RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 06 2012 05:03 PM | Updated as of Nov 07 2012 04:14 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The Commission on Elections on Tuesday said the lack of biometrics registration for some 8 million registered voters affects the poll body's attempts to rid the voters' list of fraudulent voters.

Comelec Spokesman James Jimenez said the automated fingerprint identification system of the poll body will be more effective if all the registrants have biometric records since this will guarantee that no voter is left out of the screening system.

Jimenez said these voters can still vote even without biometrics because there is no law making biometrics mandatory. He hopes a law making it mandatory will be passed in time for the 2016 election.

Nevertheless, Jimenez assured the public that the lack of biometrics will not make the election fraudulent. While it still leaves some vulnerabilities to flying voters,  these may not be enough to determine the outcome of the elections.

The Comelec spokesman said the 8 million voters without biometric records are spread out in different precincts. He said it is improbable that someone will have the logistics and knowledge to  organize them.

Jimenez said the Comelec is taking biometrics data of voters now in case it becomes mandatory in the future.

He said the poll body will unveil the updated version of its precinct finder on its website after the cleansing of the voters' list, which will be done in time for the release of precinct assignments by next year.