Sunday, December 20, 2009

Comelec braces for another rush of new registrants

December 21, 2009 04:27:00
Jerome Aning
Philippine Daily Inquirer

Original Story:

MANILA, Philippines—The Commission on Elections (Comelec) is preparing for a mad rush of new registrants to election offices nationwide following the Supreme Court’s decision to extend voters’ registration.

Comelec’s education and information department director James Arthur Jimenez said the agency is expecting about a million people to take advantage of the renewed opportunity to register.

The extension of the registration period, ordered last week by the high court, was scheduled for five days by the Comelec in an en banc resolution issued Thursday.

Jimenez called on local Comelec officials in charge of registration to be patient with the expected long lines of would-be registrants on Dec. 21, 22, 23, 28 and 29 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

“In registering during this five-day period, we should expect that there would be lots of people there so it’s better if we keep our heads cool,” Jimenez said.

Jimenez reminded those registering to bring the necessary requirements such as valid identification cards, pens and, if possible, registration forms obtained in advance from the local election office.

On Dec. 15, the Supreme Court granted a petition of the Kabataan party-list group to extend the registration period to Jan. 9, 2010.

The justices ruled invalid the Comelec’s advancing to Oct. 15 the original Dec. 15 deadline for registration, noting that Republic Act No. 8189, or the Voter’s Registration Act of 1996, provides that the final day of registration should not be more than 120 days before the election.

The Comelec said petitions for inclusion and exclusion of voter in the voters’ lists should be filed on or before Jan. 15.

Original Story:

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