Comelec won't extend voter registration

by RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 30 2012 05:08 PM | Updated as of Oct 31 2012 01:08 AM

MANILA, Philippines - The Commission on Elections aired a last minute warning to prospective voters that it will not extend the October 31 deadline for voter registration whether domestically or overseas.

Commissioner Lucenito Tagle, chairman of the committee on overseas absentee voting, said they are hoping to breach the 1 million voter mark in the final hours of voter registration in Philippine embassies and diplomatic posts around the world. He appealed to Filipinos both inside and outside the Philippines to beat the deadline.

Tagle said the poll body voted down a request by the Department of Foreign Affairs to extend OAV voter registration. This means registration will end at 5pm of October 31 based on the local time at the location of the diplomatic posts.

The poll commissioner said Filipinos overseas may also register at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport and at the offices of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration and the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration.

Tagle said the number of those registered to vote under the OAV currently stands at 960,000 around the world.

After the deadline, the registration will undergo scrutiny by the election registration boards.

Voting for Filipinos overseas will start a month before the May 13, 2013 midterm elections. Tagle revealed that in addition to Hong Kong and Singapore, the Comelec is considering automated voting for Los Angeles, USA, Saudi Arabia, Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

The Comelec is also increasing number of areas where it will allow postal voting.

For his part, Commissioner Rene Sarmiento said the public should not blame voters for the long lines in the final rush for voter registration. He pointed out that voters had 2 years to register.