Comelec allows senior citizens, PWDs to reactivate voter data online

Senior citizens and persons with disabilities (PWDs) whose voter data were deactivated due to their failure to vote in the past two consecutive elections will get the chance to reactivate their data without having to leave their homes.

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) said it recently authorized online reactivation, wherein such vulnerable sectors may opt to just send their registration forms through email.

“We have recently authorized the use of an online procedure for reactivation. This will involve getting in touch with the Office of the Election Officer via email and then sending in your registration forms,” Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez said on Friday, August 13, during the launch of a voter registration campaign by the Institute for Policy, Strategy and Developmental Studies.

The original method for reactivation of voter data involves personally bringing application forms to the local Comelec office.

“Hinahanda namin ang email addresses ngayon para magamit ng publiko, para makapag-transfer at reactivate na po sila online. Mayroon pang ibang procedure pero very minimal na lang iyon,” Jimenez added. (We are preparing the email addresses for the public so that they can reactivate their data online. There are additional procedures, but they are very minimal.)

Jimenez said the service would eventually be available to all voters whose data were recently deactivated.

Overall, this ability, this online reactivation will be available to all voters whose data were deactivated, especially in the run-up to this particular election cycle, he said.

The service was made possible because voters whose data were deactivated after failing to participate in the past two polls still have biometrics data in the system, the Comelec noted.

The development is part of Comelec’s efforts to make the 2022 elections inclusive despite the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Other initiatives by the poll body include the return of accessible polling places for senior citizens and PWDs for the 2022 vote, and introduction of isolation polling places for people manifesting flu-like symptoms on election day.

Comelec Commissioner Rowena Guanzon has also pushed for a bill that would allow senior citizens and PWDs to cast their ballots before election day. Such a proposal in the House has passed second reading. – Rappler.com