Unregistered Biometrics See 100,000 Filipinos Lose Voting Rights in Davao City Alone

Unregistered Biometrics See 100,000 Filipinos Lose Voting Rights in Davao City AloneThe Philippines’ Commission on Elections (Comelec) will deactivate the eligibility of a little over 100,000 voters in Davao City for next year’s national election.

Voters across the country were required to register their biometric data in anticipation of the 2016 election, which will rely on biometric voter identity authentication, but the window for registration closed on October 31st. While Comelec has been engaged in an extensive communications campaign for several months, seeking to ensure that voters registered ahead of the deadline, its registration centers nevertheless saw enormous increases in traffic in the final days of the registration period.

According to CNN Philippines, one Davao City registration center saw approximately 3000 individuals lined up on the final day of registration – double its processing capacity. The center extended its office hours and ultimately processed 2000 individuals.

A last-minute petition had sought to force Comelec to extend its registration deadline, but without Supreme Court intervention, the deadline went ahead as scheduled, and in its wake a former Comelec official expressed doubts as to whether any further such efforts could succeed. It now seems entirely possible that next year’s election could feature complaints along the lines of those recently expressed in Kyrgyzstan, whose recent election saw some citizens unable to vote due to unregistered biometrics. In any case, no one can say that Comelec didn’t try to prevent such a problem.

Source: CNN Philippines