Filipinos who are qualified have until September 30, 2021, to register to vote in the 2022 elections. Physically going to the local Commission on Elections (Comelec) office or satellite site to file one's application, however, does not seem to be the only challenge that registrants are facing. (READ: FAQs: What you need to know about voter registration during pandemic)
MovePH, Rappler’s civic engagement arm, has received reports of qualified voters encountering difficulties registering. Most of these concerns are related to the new, unique challenges brought about by the pandemic.
In a province east of Metro Manila, for example, a registrant was told by the Comelec offices of two cities that the limited appointment slots for voter registration were all already taken up until September 30. This means nobody can register in those cities anymore even if the deadline for applications is still about four months away.
To manage the number of registrants on a given day, many Comelec offices have put in place a booking system for appointments. The poll commission recently resumed voter registration in Metro Manila and four adjacent provinces after over a month's suspension due to the strict lockdown. The House minority bloc has also urged the Comelec to add registration centers for the 2022 elections.
From January 2020, to April 15, 2021, the Comelec processed 3.16 million applications. Among these, at least 1.58 million are first-time registrants. The Comelec is targeting at least four million new registered voters by the end of the registration period.
MovePH is crowdsourcing and verifying reports of challenges that registrants are encountering. This will help the Comelec and organizations working to increase voter registration to address the issues or difficulties.
If you’ve encountered any problem in your attempts to register as a voter, please report the following information:
If you've successfully registered, however, you may want to join our #WeDecide social media campaign. Shoot a one-minute video of yourself answering these questions: Why did you register to vote? Why do you think it’s important for every Filipino to exercise his or her right to vote?