Comelec weeds out 704, 542 double registrants
MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Elections on Friday said it has discovered more than 700,000 multiple and double registrants in its voters’ lists, thanks to a new computer program that checks voters’ registration records.
The Comelec said that aside from biometric scans and automated fingerprint identification system, it is now using algorithmic matching to check if voters registered more than once in different polling places. The program weeds out voters whose first, middle and last names and birthdates appear in different voters’ lists.
The poll body said Cavite had the most number of double and multiple registrants with 47,016, followed by three different districts of the National Capital Region including 2nd District (46,870), 4th District (46,281) and 3rd District (38,056).
The Comelec also found large numbers of double and multiple registrants in Cebu (23,602) and Davao del Sur (34,557).
The fewest number of double registrants were found in Batanes, with 46.
Last March 10, the Comelec en banc issued a resolution ordering the “abatement of the other registration records of voters found to have double or multiple registration records listed by the [Comelec information technology department].”
The resolution also directed boards of election inspectors (BEI) “not to allow these voters to vote in their respective precincts in the May elections.” It also ordered the deletion of the registration records of these voters in the next election registration board (ERB) hearings.
The Comelec IT department has already printed a list of voters whose registration records are not valid on a per precinct and per municipality level.
The Comelec earlier said it has weeded out 200,000 double or multiple registrants using its automated fingerprint identification system (AFIS).
COPW doubts poll automation
The Consumer and Oil Price Watch, meanwhile, expressed concerns and doubts about the state of preparedness of the Comelec to implement the automated election process by May 10 this year.
COPW chairman Raul Concepcion said that, so far, he is not convinced that the technology and equipment needed for the automation would be ready in time, stressing that it seemed many materials and training procedures had not yet been completed.e
“There is apprehension. They say they will have to buy new batteries, but you will buy all of that today? It’s too late! I’m worried about the state of preparedness. This is the most crucial elections in the history of the country,” he said
Concepcion said the energy crisis is also a concern, given the shortage of power supply currently being experienced in many parts of the country. He asked that power barges be purchased so that these worries are addressed.
He also called on the media and the public to attend the March 25th public hearing of the Joint Senate and House Oversight Committee to better gather information on the progress of preparations.
“The elections will be on May 10. If these concerns are not answered to our satisfaction by then, then I’m sorry, but I will be very pessimistic,” he said. Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News