• Nearly 700,000 new voters register

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    ELECTION PREPS Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista personally monitors and oversees the voter’s regristration for the 2016 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections, at the Lucky China Town mall in Binondo Manila. Photo by Russell Palma

    ELECTION PREPS Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista personally monitors and oversees the voter’s regristration for the 2016 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections, at the Lucky China Town mall in Binondo Manila. Photo by Russell Palma

    WITH a week left before the end of the 15-day registration period, some 670,000 people have so far registered out of an estimated six million additional new voters for the coming barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections.

    Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Juan Andres Bautista on Friday said that aside from the ongoing registration of voters, other election-related preparations were also in full swing, even as he raised the possibility that the scheduled October 31 twin elections would be postponed.

    Bautista disclosed that the Comelec was closely coordinating with leaders of Congress on issues related to the coming barangay and SK polls and on proposals for the convening of a Constitutional Convention, which would require the holding of an election for delegates.

    Bautista pointed out that the decision to postpone the barangay and SK elections and hold them simultaneously with the election of delegates to the Constitutional Convention was up to Congress.

    Bautista said that the Comelec was ready to present its position on the issue if called by
    lawmakers.

    “We are ready to proceed with the election on October 31, but if the President and Congress decide to postpone it, we will support it,” he added.

    The poll chief, at the same time, reminded new registrants and old voters who need to validate their biometrics to register early to avoid the last-minute rush.

    “We have eight days left until the end of registration next week (July 30). We are reminding the public to register now so that they can participate in the coming barangay and SK elections,” Bautista added.

    Bautista admitted that the public interest in the barangay and SK polls was not really that high compared with the national elections.

    Those qualified to register for the SK polls are Filipino citizens who are not registered voters, provided that they are at least 15 but not more than 30 years of age as of the day of the election, residents in the barangay for at least six months on election day, and not otherwise disqualified by law.

    For barangay elections, one should be at least 18 years of age on or before the day of elections, a resident of the Philippines for at least one year, and a resident of the barangay wherein he or she intends to vote for at least six months prior to the October 31 barangay elections, and not otherwise disqualified by law.

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