Comelec to create watchlist vs multiple registrants
The Commission on Elections (Comelec) said Thursday it plans to create a watchlist that would prevent suspected double or multiple registrants from voting more than once in the May polls.
“Kung nandun ka sa (If you are on the) watchlist, the Board of Election Inspector (BEI) will stop you from voting… the BEI would verify (first),” Comelec Commissioner Gregorio Larrazabal told reporters in an interview.
Larrazabal said that as prescribed by a previous Comelec resolution, double or multiple registrants may still vote but only in the precinct where he or she last registered. He said the list will just help the BEIs determine whether a voter should be voting in another precinct.
Comelec spokesman James Jimenez added that even without being listed in the watchlist, a normal citizen can “challenge” the identity of a “suspicious” voter.
“Anyone can challenge, not just the BEIs,” he said.
Jimenez said the Comelec will be creating a web page called “Alma’s Death List” where the public can report deaths, in the process helping them cleanse the list of voters. “Alma” is Spanish for soul.
The poll officials made the announcement after the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) reported that there are more than 40,000 double registrants in Davao City and Davao del Sur while militant watchdog Kontra Daya said that the voters’ list for the May polls is padded by five million.
Despite this, Jimenez said they are not in “adversarial” relations with the watchdogs, stressing that it was even the Comelec that provided the voters’ list to the PPCRV. “If we wanted to hide anything, we wouldn’t have given the list to them,” he said.
Larrazabal said they plan to meet with the PPCRV and Kontra Daya to discuss the issue of multiple registrants more thoroughly. “We hope that we can work together,” he said.
Jimenez said they wish to finish cleansing before the book of voters close on March 26. “By then the list (should be) as clean as we can make it,” he said.
“Ito na yung mga huling hirit ng mga naunang problema, itong mga nakikita nating (These are remnants of old problems. These are just) issues are (from the) old registration system,” he aded.
A total of 50,723,734 are qualified to vote in the May polls. – Kimberly Tan/RSJ/KBK, GMANews.TV