30% of QC voters have no biometrics – Comelec

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Voters without biometrics (photograph, fingerprint and digital signature) cannot exercise their right to suffrage in the May 9, 2016 national and local elections and future elections.

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In Quezon City, almost 30 percent of registered voters do not have biometrics, and according to the local Commission on Elections (Comelec), voters not only in the city but nationwide should have their registration validated or their biometrics taken.

Lawyer Jovencio Balanquit, Election Officer IV for the city’s first district said validation of voters registration will start today, May 6, until October 31 next year.

“[Registered voters without biometrics] have over a year to re-validate their registration by submitting their biometrics or they will lose their right to vote in the May 2016 national polls and in future elections,” Balanquit told The Manila Times.

He added that they are now validating the voters lists and preparing notices for voters without biometric records in their office.

In his district of 37 barangays, there are almost 192,214 registered voters but 37,908 of these still do not have their biometrics.

Maricel Rosario, one of Balanquit’s staff, said voters may also opt to wait for Comelec’s move to put up satellite offices in their barangays if the chairmen have a facility for this and requested Balanquit’s office to do so.

A check made by The Times in District 2, comprised of five biggest barangays (Payatas, Holy Spirit, Commonwealth, Batasan Hills and Bagong Silangan) found 241,449 registered voters there.

Some 55,357 of them have no biometrics while 53,598 others were listed as deactivated and 2,591 have incomplete biometrics.

Deactivated voters, Balanquit explained, are voters who did not participate in the last two elections. They have to go to the Comelec offices to have their registration activated even if they have complete biometrics.

In District 3, 29,295 voters still do not have biometrics, while District 5 and 6 have yet to generate a list of voters, being the newest districts of the city.

The local Comelec office in District 4 did not want to entertain media inquiry and demanded a letter of request to its head before furnishing any details and figures.

Relatedly, the Legal Network for Truthful Elections (Lente) urged the public to register early to avoid long lines at the Comelec offices.

In a statement, Lente said Republic Act 10367 or the Mandatory Biometrics Act the capture of all voters’ biometrics.

The network cited Comelec Resolution 9853 that provides the schedule of election officers from Sunday to Thursday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Registrants are required to present a government-issued identification with the bearer’s photograph and signature,

Lente said. However, community tax certificates (cedula) or police clearances will not be honored.

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