Early voting pushed amid pandemic, amendment to campaign rule eyed

Capitol photo

Commissioner Rowena Guanzon of the Commission on Elections is again calling on the Senate to pass an early voting law to reduce crowding on election day amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

This will allow vulnerable groups to cast their votes ahead of the May 9, 2022 national elections, she said today, March 2.

“Right now the law allows elections for only one day so we need a law that will allow early voting,” she said.

Among those eyed for inclusion in the early voting law are senior citizens, persons with disabilities, health workers, military and police personnel, poll watchers, and the media, she said.

She also stressed the need to aggressively vaccinate Filipinos against COVID-19 so they can safely register and vote.

The pandemic has caused a very low voter registration turnout, she said, adding that the Comelec is developing an app to ease the process.

The Comelec is studying a registration app where voter registrants can fill up forms on their mobile phones.

Registrants will then be given QR codes that they will present to their election officers to scan so their registration forms can be printed, she said.

“Voting by mail would be difficult in the Philippines because our post office system is very slow”, she said.

The Commission En Banc is also discussing an amendment to the campaign rules.

This means campaign expenses and poster compliance will be counted from the day candidates file their certificates of candidacy and not on February 8 for national candidates and March 25 for the local bets, she said.

Guanzon said Negros Occidental currently has about 1.8 million voters, more than 50 percent of whom are women voters

More women vote than men in Western Visayas, including Negros Occidental, she said.*

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