Comelec-GenSan scrutinizing voter’s list

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/ 22 November)– The Commission on Elections (Comelec) here has adopted a stringent verification process on voters’ registration applications to ensure that no multiple registrants and “flying voters” would be included in the city’s voter’s list.

Lawyer Jose Villanueva, city election officer, said the verification system set by the Comelec central office provides that all voters’ application and approved registration will have to undergo various processes that will run through election day.

He said they started last Monday the verification of the area’s voters’ registration applications through the hearings conducted by the city’s election registration board (ERB), composed of the Comelec and representatives from the Department of Education and the Office of the City Civil Registrar.

The ERB hearings, which set the approval or disapproval of voters’ applications, will be conducted until Friday, he said.

Aside from the ERB hearings, Villanueva said they do their verification using the biometric system and the posting of the voter’s photos prior to the issuance of official ballots during the election day.

The official said the city Comelec office has not received any petition so far for the exclusion of voters’ registration applicants as of its deadline last November 12.

“But any party can still seek for the exclusion or inclusion of any voter by filing a court petition seven days from now,” he said.

In the case of possible multi-registrants, Villanueva admitted that they will have to rely on the verified list from the Comelec central office to identify them.

He said they cannot specifically establish whether a locally registered voter has an existing record in another area.

“We don’t have a way to determine this unless we get a confirmation from Manila (Comelec central office),” Villanueva said.

The official earlier admitted that his office had received reports on the alleged voters’ registration in the city of residents coming from nearby Sarangani province but no formal complaints or petitions have been so far filed regarding the matter.

“We cannot just act based on mere verbal complaints or speculations,” he said.

The city’s total population has reached 538,086 based on the 2010 census of population and housing, and registered voters of 263,082 in
the 2010 national and local elections. (Allen V. Estabillo/MindaNews)