The announcement for the resumption of voter registration for 2022 national elections in September was made on Saturday by the Commission on Elections. However, areas still under the enhanced community quarantine or the modified ECQ will be exempted from partaking. Areas still affected by the MECQ will only be allowed to join the voter registration for 2022 once the area’s quarantine level transitions to a general community quarantine, modified general community quarantine, or is lifted entirely.
Basically, it’s still going to depend on the overall condition of the area where you are in; that’s what’s going to be the condition on whether or not you’ll be allowed to participate in the voter registration for the 2020 national elections.
As such, voter registration for 2022 would likewise be pertinent to automatic suspension if areas under GCQ or MGCQ have been upgraded to MECQ or ECQ.
Guidelines for Registration
Applications for registration may be submitted from Tuesday to Saturday between 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Office of the Election Officer.
The application forms are accessible through the official Comelec website for those who are planning to participate in the voter registration for 2022 national elections.
The Comelec spokesperson himself, James Jimenez, put emphasis in filling out the downloadable forms before proceeding to the COMELEC office. This hastens the entire process and keeps people safe from exposing themselves out for too long.
As the Comelec reopens voter registration, we are encouraging applicants to download the application forms from www.comelec.gov.ph.”
However, Jimenez reiterated that the forms must only be signed in front of an election officer.
It is strongly recommended that downloaded forms be filled out before going to the Comelec office for registration. But the forms should be signed only in front of the Election Officer, at the Comelec office.”
Safety Protocols Amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic
Health protocols will likely be enforced by the Commission on Elections against the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) pandemic by limiting the number of people allowed inside COMELEC offices. They will do this to make sure that the physical distancing measures are being followed; and also, by requiring applicants to wear face masks and face shields as well as by encouraging them to bring their own pens as to minimize physical contact with other applicants and/or employees.
There will also be an available express lane for the elderly, pregnant, and persons with disability.
Jimenez also stated that a fill out form will have to be answered by applicants which will disclose information regarding their travel and contact history.
Registrants will also be required to fill out a ‘Coronavirus Self-Declaration Form’ which discloses information relating to travel, contact with people with known Covid-19 infection, and symptoms being experienced.”
People who may be showing symptoms for the COVID-19 infection will not be allowed to enter inside the offices and will be advised to seek medical assistance.
He added that all Comelec offices nationwide will likewise perform daily disinfection and decontamination of their premises as well as the voter registration machine and peripherals, furniture and equipment, and other frequently touched surfaces, in order to ensure a safe environment at all times.
Repeated Suspensions Due to the Health Situation
The period of nationwide voter registration for 2022 national elections started on January 20. It will run until Sept. 30, 2021, in preparation for the May 2022 elections.
However, the voter registration was suspended from March 9 to 31 due to the pandemic. Three days before the March deadline, the poll body further delayed the resumption of the registration until April 30 because of the extension of the ECQ in Luzon. The Comelec again suspended it before the April deadline and extended to until June 30.
Previously, the suspension was further extended until August 31. “It is suspended up to August 31,” said Comelec Commissioner Rowena Guanzon in an interview. Guanzon was hopeful that by the end of August, the urgency of the current health crisis may have already lessened.
By the end of August 31, we hope that the Covid-19 pandemic would have ebbed. Our field personnel requested for the extension so as to ensure their safety and the safety of the public; and we agreed.”
The COMELEC first ordered the suspension of voter registration on March 9 due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic. Furthermore, the registration was supposed to resume after March 21.
By March 27, the suspension was extended to April 30 in compliance with the extension of the community quarantine. On April 25, voter registration was suspended until June 30 and the reason remained the same.
What do you think of the voter registration for 2022 to be done in September? Do you think that it’s already safe for people to attend it? Are you feeling hopeful for the coming elections?