MANILA— Senior citizens and persons with disabilities (PWD) who failed to participate in the last two elections will be allowed to vote next year, a poll official announced Wednesday.
This decision was reached by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) during its en banc meeting, according to Comelec commissioner Rowena Guanzon.
"Comelec en banc approved the reactivation of PWDs and senior citizens voters who failed to vote in 2 consecutive elections. Reactivation through email and oath before the election officer thru video. Wait for procedure details," Guanzon said in a tweet.
Sen. Risa Hontiveros quickly welcomed this development, as she also pushed for early voting for PWDs, senior citizens, and pregnant women.
“This is a welcome development. We expect the Comelec to thoroughly cleanse the voter’s list. Dapat nilang siguraduhin na nanahimik na ang mga 'multong' botante. I also support various calls to allow early voting for persons with disabilities, seniors, and pregnant women," Hontiveros said.
The decision was made as Hontiveros and fellow reelectionist Sen. Kiko Pangilinan continued to appeal to Comelec to extend the voter registration period set to end on September 30.
According to Pangilinan, the ongoing Metro Manila lockdown until Aug. 20 "prevents 4 in every 10 eligible voters from going out and in registering."
"A one-month extension will not extensively hinder Comelec’s preparation for the elections, especially given that voter’s registration was suspended for half a year," Pangilinan said.
Comelec has yet to respond to calls for an extension in voter registration.