More than 2.7 million more young voters are expected to register for the next elections, the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) said. This comes after President Rodrigo Duterte suggested moving the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections from May 2020 to October 2022.
Voter registration for the barangay and SK elections started at 8 a.m. on Thursday. COMELEC Spokesperson James Jimenez said they are focusing primarily on the youth or those from ages 15 to 30 years old. He said 2,781,236 new voters are expected. Of this figure, 1,229,859 will be from ages 15 to 17, and will only be qualified to vote for the SK elections. Meanwhile, those at least 18 up to 30 years old can vote for both SK and barangay elections.
COMELEC offices and some satellite registration sites such as malls and barangay halls will welcome registrants until 5 p.m. from Monday to Saturday, including holidays, until September 30. Registrants must bring an ID, such as a birth certificate to prove their age.
COMELEC will also accept other applications for this period, such as application for reactivation, correction and transfer. Voters who had their registrations deactivated due to failure to vote for two consecutive elections, may opt to have them reactivated. For those who are transferring residences, they may register in their new place by providing ID to indicate their new residence. Voters who wish to correct information such as new marital status and gender may apply by providing proof of that information.
Jimenez said they may extend the deadline due to the possible delay in elections. They expect the bulk of voters to register close to the deadline.
He added that moving the elections to a later date may cause a dip in registration due to lack of urgency. However, they are not worried, he said, since voters continue to register despite the delays.
“When they realize that registration is about to come to an end, a lot of people try to beat the deadline so we’re not really that worried,” Jimenez said.
He added that the early announcement for a possible delay will allow aspirants for barangay office positions to “plan better,” including making the necessary budget preparations for their campaigns.