Ingenuity will be pivotal to politicians seeking to land a national or local post in next year’s elections as barnstorming will be strictly regulated and even prohibited, according to the Commission on Elections (Comelec).
In an interview, Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez indicated the likely changes that candidates should expect including traditional door-to-door campaigns being prohibited as part of measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019.
“Activities, like giving out materials or going out or talking to people face-to-face for campaign purposes, that’s gonna change. Door-to-door campaigns might not be allowed,” Jimenez noted.
Certainly, there will be changes in the way people do things. That sort of face-to-face campaigning would be strictly regulated, maybe even prohibited.
The poll official said the prohibitions are not official yet as the poll agency will have to coordinate with the Inter-Agency Task Force for the management of emerging infectious diseases. It will also depend on the development of the outbreak.
Nonetheless, Jimenez stressed that a “change in the campaign landscape” would be unavoidable.
Adjust to imperfect world
“Certainly, there will be changes in the way people do things. That sort of face-to-face campaigning would be strictly regulated, maybe even prohibited,” he said.
Jimenez said candidates may need to switch to online campaigning.
“We are particularly concerned about face-to-face encounters between campaigners and the public (because) that’s where your spread is gonna happen,” Jimenez stressed.
“It doesn’t matter how Covid-safe election day is if people are already spreading the virus through careless and irresponsible acts during the campaign,” he added.
So far, the Comelec has recorded about 1.3 million voter applications as of Monday. The Comelec aims to register 4 million new voters.
The voter registration nationwide resumed last 1 September 2020 and will run until the end the same month this year.
All offices of election officers are ready to accept applications from Mondays to Thursdays from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Aside from applications of new registrants, transfer and reactivation of voter records and the change of name or correction of entries are also being accepted.