Midterm polls voting time on election day extended — Comelec

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The Commission on Elections adds four hours to voting time to accommodate all voters. (FILE PHOTO)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, December 11) — Voting time for the midterm elections will be extended to 12 hours, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) said. 

Comelec Spokesperson James Jimenez said due to the increase of number of voters for the May 2019 elections, they decided to add four hours to the voting period, setting from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. instead of 7 a.m. to 3 p.m..

"We have a thousand voters per machine so that's a lot of people although we expect that if we limit the voting hours from 7 to 3 baka hindi kayanin [we may not be able to accommodate all] so we have to extend just to account for the possible congestion," Jimenez said. 

He explained that the number of registered voters is up from 58 million in 2016 to 61 million in 2019.

However, the number of voting machines remains the same.  Jimenez said they have a higher than average increase in voters this year from the usual 1.5 million to more than two million. 

Election Day for the midterm polls will be on May 13, 2019. 

CNN Philippines' Correspondent Rex Remitio contributed to this report.