Comelec to reopen voter registration from Oct. 11 to 30

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 29) — The Commission on Elections announced on Wednesday that it would reopen the voter registration period from Oct. 11 to 30.

Spokesperson James Jimenez said the Comelec en banc unanimously approved the extension. The voter registration will only be carried out on weekdays and on Oct. 30, which is a Saturday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The voter registration will close on Sept. 30, but it will reopen after the period of filing of the certificates of candidacy, which will happen from Oct. 1 to 8.

"(This is because) we are very busy on accepting the various certificates of candidacy of the various candidates all over the country," Comelec chairman Sheriff Abas told CNN Philippines' The Source.

Jimenez, however, said the poll body will unlikely open another period to extend the registration after Oct. 30.

"Right now, I don’t really see that happening considering na mag-i-impact na talaga yan sa preparation," he said.

[Translation: Right now, I don't really see that happening considering that it will really impact our preparation.]

"Sabi nga ng chairman, when we discussed this with our field officials most of them really said no, mostly because in their areas, wala namang ganitong klaseng crowds," Jimenez related. "Dito talaga sa mga urban centers natin nakikita yung [crowds] ng tao."

[Translation: As the chairman said, when we discussed this with our field officials most of them really said no, mostly because in their areas, there are no such big crowds. We can only find these crowds in our urban centers.]

Comelec Director Elaiza David said in a government briefing that the extension might affect some pre-election preparations by the poll body, including the issuance of the list of registered voters and printing of ballots.

The registration period was limited because of lockdowns due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Filipinos who are at least 18 years of age on May 9, 2022 flocked to registration sites and stood in line for hours to be eligible to cast their votes in the upcoming elections.

Meanwhile, the registration for overseas voters was also extended for two weeks from Oct. 1 to 14.

Over 63.36 million Filipinos may vote in the May 2022 elections as of Sept.11, with over five million new registrants.

Jimenez advised the public to present their voter registration forms, along with their valid I.D., when heading to the designated Comelec registration centers.