Lawmaker pushes for early voting for senior citizens, PWDs amid pandemic
This undated file photo shows senior citizens wearing face masks.
The STAR/Walter Bollozos, file

Lawmaker pushes for early voting for senior citizens, PWDs amid pandemic

(Philstar.com) - October 16, 2020 - 5:54pm

MANILA, Philippines — A lawmaker is pushing for senior citizens and persons with disabilities to be able to vote a month ahead of election day in 2022, in anticipation that the coronavirus pandemic will still persist until then.

“There is now a very compelling reason to… urgently develop a new normal of voting for our senior citizens and PWDs and protect their right to vote while also promoting their health and safety,” Rep. Ronnie Ong (Ang Probinsyano party-list) said in filing House Bill No. 7868.

Aside from being allowed to vote early, the proposal also provides an option for the Commission on Elections to allow mail-in voting for senior citizens and PWDs. 

Under the measure, those who wish to vote early must first register or signify their intent with the Comelec. 

Those who registered for early voting but failed to vote within the period provided may not vote during election day, “except for valid grounds to be determined by the Comelec.”

The proposed law also provides that health and safety protocols be put in place in designated polling stations and other establishments where people are lined up to vote.

There are at least 11 measures filed in the House of Representatives seeking to allow senior citizens and PWDs to vote early or vote by mail.

Sen. Imee Marcos, meanwhile, has filed a similar measure in the upper chamber. — Xave Gregorio

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