There are already 63 million registered voters for the 2022 Philippine elections, Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Sheriff Abas said.
The number is way past the projection of 59 million voters that the Comelec had set for the May 9, 2022 vote.
“As of September 11, we already processed 63,364,932 registered voters,” Abas told CNN Philippines on Wednesday, September 29.
“Our new registrants are around five million. Some 871,000 people [reactivated their data], while 3.2 million [applied for] transfer of voter data,” Abas added in a mix of English and Filipino.
The new number that the Comelec gave is still 10 million short of the Philippine Statistics Authority’s projected voting population for 2022, which is at 73.3 million.
But the poll body has noted that even in past elections, it was unable to come close to the PSA’s projected voting population.
“Tinanong ko ito sa aming project managmeent office kung bakit mayroon talagang hindi nagpaparehistro. Ang sagot nila sa akin, mayroon talagang around 10 million na hindi nagpaparehistro, simula’t simula pa,” Abas said.
(I asked our project management office why some people don’t register. They told me, there are really around 10 million Filipinos who don’t register, even in past polls.)
The PSA figure was cited many times during Senate and House hearings on the 2022 elections, as lawmakers feared millions of Filipinos would be disenfranchised if voter registration would not be extended until October 31.
Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon had even said he was unimpressed by the Comelec’s efforts to meet its numbers.
“I don’t buy the argument that you have exceeded your target, because in the first place, you set your own target,” Drilon said on September 24. “You could have made your target [just] one million.”
Abas confirmed on Wednesday that voter registration, originally set to end on September 30, would be extended from October 9 to 31.
Local Comelec offices have witnessed an influx of voter applicants seeking to take part in the 2022 polls days before the original deadline. – Rappler.com