Speaking about the new partnership to the media, Comelec chairman Andres Bautista and Facebook Public Policy for Asia Pacific head Elizabeth Hernandez framed it as a means to facilitate dialogue among citizens, and to connect them with candidates. Meanwhile, Facebook Political and Government Outreach Team leader Katie Harbath said the social networking site would help to encourage Filipinos to vote on election day.
The large-scale attempts to encourage civic participation echo Comelec’s efforts over the last year to encourage eligible voters to register their biometric data to ensure they would be able to vote. This will be the country’s first national biometric election, and as such Comelec undertook a vigorous public relations campaign to try to ensure that all voters get registered, as those who failed to do so would become ineligible to vote.
While there were some legal issues spurred by those who were not able to register in time, Comelec’s largely successful example could prove instructive to other countries as biometric polling becomes increasingly popular around the world. And with the increased attention to the election generated by Facebook, the technology will have a chance to make a major impression across the social media network.
Source: The Philippine Star
January 29, 2016 – by Alex Perala