The Philippines’ Commission on Elections, or Comelec, will allow citizens to vote even if their biometric data is corrupted.
The announcement comes from Comelec even as the commission forges ahead with its disenfranchisement of voters who failed to register their biometric data ahead of an October 31st deadline. While a major surge in registrant traffic prevented Comelec from registering all eligible voters’ data in the final days of the registration period, Comelec’s registration centers had been operating for well over a year, and the commission had waged a strenuous PR campaign encouraging voters to register for several months, and it’s on this basis that Comelec leadership is now dismissing requests to extend the registration period.
But those who tried to register and ended up with corrupted biometrics data due to technical issues should not be punished, Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez says. “Those who strived hard to register or have their biometrics taken, what you did was a good thing,” he told reporters, adding, “It will not be a wasted effort.” While Comelec had contacted affected individuals and asked them to come back to re-register, many did not, Jimenez said; nevertheless, they will be allowed to vote in next year’s election, but will have to complete their biometric registration later.
Jimenez commented that Comelec’s concern is “getting more people to vote,” calling it “the most important” objective at this time.
November 10, 2015 – by Alex Perala