No personal appearance for voter registration eyed
Comelec Commissioner Rowena Guanzon said the poll body intends to partner with the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) for the adoption of a voter registration system that would not require a personal appearance.
STAR/ File
No personal appearance for voter registration eyed
Mayen Jaymalin (The Philippine Star) - September 14, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — New voters intending to register for the May 2022 elections may no longer be required to personally appear before the Commission on Elections.

Comelec Commissioner Rowena Guanzon said the poll body intends to partner with the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) for the adoption of a voter registration system that would not require a personal appearance.

“Comelec is studying a project that I proposed: no personal appearance for voter registrants with passports, (only) online,” Guanzon posted on Twitter over the weekend. “If partnership with DFA is possible, verification of identity can be done using biometrics data of DFA.”

She said more Filipinos here and abroad, as long as they have valid passports, may be encouraged to become registered voters if such a system is adopted.

“This is not only timely, it is necessary,” Guanzon said while noting the proposed “no appearance” registration system will also address concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic.

Other members of the commission, Guanzon said, were unanimous in supporting her proposal.

Guanzon said the implementation of the proposed system does not require law since means and methods of elections are the sole discretion of the Comelec.

If DFA will agree to partner with Comelec, Guanzon said they would try to implement the new system in the ongoing voter registration.

Voter registration for the May 2022 national and local elections runs until Sept. 30, 2021.

ROWENA GUANZON
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