Extension of voter registration ‘not likely’

The Commission on Elections on Monday said it will not be possible to extend the voter registration period beyond the deadline slated at the end of January.

In a television interview, Comelec chairman George Erwin Garcia said they have not talked nor thought about the possibility of an extension.

“Our Filipino mentality is not good for our voter registration. We will stick with the 31 January deadline. There should be no more excuses,” Garcia said.

The current voter registration period is for the upcoming Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections in October, although a pending petition before the Supreme Court intends to conduct the polls at a much earlier date.

According to Republic Act 8189 or the Continuing Voter’s Registration Act, registration activities are barred within 120 days before the election.

Garcia, however, said extensions are possible in areas where voter registration suspensions have been ruled.

In a 7 January Daily Tribune report, Comelec spokesperson John Rex Laudiangco said there are no plans yet for a voter registration schedule in the 7th Legislative District of Cavite, which will conduct special congressional elections on 25 February.

“We’re not seeing any extension unless there is a suspension of voter registration in the area. Maybe we can extend there, but it is not a good idea to always extend and extend,” Garcia said.

Comelec said the total number of registrants has reached 1.028 million as of 20 January, half of them are new registrants.

The poll body aims to log at least 1.5 million registrations before the end of the month, the last day of voter registration.

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