NOT all of the more than three million who registered for the coming barangay (village) and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK or Youth Council) elections will be allowed to vote, according to the Commission on Elections (Comelec).
Comelec Chairman Juan Andres Bautista on Friday disclosed that the list of registrants is being evaluated by the Election Registration Board (ERB) of every city or municipality to purge it of illegal registrants.
Members of the ERB are the election officer as chairman, the local civil registrar and the most senior in rank public school official in a city or municipality. In the absence of the civil registrar, the city or municipal treasurer can take over.
Bautista explained that the purging process is being done before an election to get rid of illegal registrants such as flying voters, and those with double and multiple registrations, using the biometrics and the Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS).
“We wanted to level the playing field for all candidates. It is our mandate to ensure fair, honest and orderly elections,” he said.
Republic Act 10367 requires all voters to submit their biometric information to the Comelec.
A biometric validation is an added election safeguard aimed at eliminating flying voters. It also requires the taking of a digital photograph, signature and fingerprints of every voter.
Comelec records showed that there were 3,095,187 applications for registration for the October 31 barangay and SK polls.
Of the total number of registrants, 1,615,830 were 15 to 17 years old and 1,180,959 were 18 years old and above.
Another 205,971 applied for reactivation, 20,369 for change of name, 31,025 for change of entries, 180 for inclusion of records in the book of voters, 265 for reinstatement of name on the list of voters, 39,280 for reactivation and change/correction, and 1,308 for transfer of registration records of overseas Filipinos.
The list of approved and disapproved applications will be posted not later than August 19 while the certified and final list of voters will be posted not later than September 16. The implementation of court inclusion or exclusion orders will be not later than September 30.
The election period will be from October 1 to November 7.
Qualified to vote for the SK polls are duly registered Filipino citizens who are at least 15 but not more than 30 years of age as of the day of the elections; a resident in the barangay for at least six months on election day; and not otherwise disqualified by law.
For the village elections, one should be at least 18 years of age on or before the day of the elections, must be a resident of the Philippines for at least one year, and a resident of the place wherein he or she intends to vote for at least six months immediately preceding the October 31 barangay elections, and not otherwise disqualified by law.
A voter may vote two times if he or she is qualified to vote in the SK and barangay elections.
WILLIAM B. DEPASUPIL