CAN voters have an option in the ballot to tick NONE if he/she finds no acceptable candidate in the line up?
If “NONE” gets a majority of votes, a new election should be called. This should apply across all positions.
I don’t know if it’s a good idea because it would mean bigger spending for special elections. But wouldn’t it serve as an incentive to encourage voters to go to polling precincts on Election Day to register their disgust over unacceptable choices?
So far, most of the relatives, friends and students I have talked with showed no enthusiasm to vote for lack of an acceptable candidate.
In the 2013 mid-term elections, voter turnout for the legislature was recorded at 60.7 percent. That means only 31. 6 million voters cast their ballots out of the 52 million who registered. Of the 62.4 million population of voting age, 10.4 million did not register.
A simple mathematics would show that 20.5 million Filipinos of voting age did not participate in the last senatorial and local elections.
In the 2010 elections when many voters showed enthusiasm in exercising their right to suffrage, voter turnout was a high 74.98 percent, with 38.2 million voters casting their ballots out of 50.9 million registered voters.
Eight candidates vied for the presidency in 2010, including Benigno Aquino 3rd, Joseph Estrada, Manuel Villar Jr., Gilbert Teodoro, Richard Gordon, Jamby Madrigal, Eddie Villanueva and JC delos Reyes.
In 2004, the turnout was higher at 84.10 percent, with 36.6 million voters casting their ballots out of 43. 5 million registered voters.
For the legislature though, the turnout was the lowest since 1967 — 30.4 percent, or only 13.3 million exercising their voting rights out of 43.5 million registered voters.
The presidential election then was a tight contest between Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and movie actor Fernando Poe Jr. The other candidates were Panfilo Lacson, Raul Roco and Eddie Villanueva
Presidential elections in the Philippines draw more voters than the previous one.
But with the introduction of biometrics and voters’ apparent lack of interest to participate in the coming electoral exercise, we may again see a downslide in voter turnout.
The Commission on Elections (Comelec) had said that 4.3 million registered voters may not be allowed to vote if they fail to validate their registration to capture their biometrics.
The Filipino electorate seem to have little appreciation and recognition of their right to vote. Non-voters give so many lame excuses for not even registering, or may have taken time to register but not cast their votes.
One reason is the inconvenience of going to the precinct and lining up to cast your ballot. Others would say they didn’t like any of the candidates, or know nothing about them. There are also those who think that voting would not benefit them, so why bother and be inconvenienced?
In some countries, voting is not just a right that you may choose not to exercise, but mandatory.
Under martial law in 1978, voting was made compulsory but still the turnout was only 85.52 percent, or 18.4 million showing up to cast their votes out of 21.5 million registered voters. Also, only 78.6 percent of the 23.4 million population of voting age were registered voters.
The numbers were high, but considering that voting was made an obligation, there was still a 15 percent gap.
Voter education is severely wanting in the Philippines. Filipinos of voting age should be made aware that registering to vote and casting votes is a right they ought to exercise if they want good government.
Refraining from voting insures a spurious government and encourages corruption.
It has been said that bad governments are elected by good citizens who don’t vote.