Comelec office in Cebu conducts off-site registration
A Commission on Election (Comelec) office in Cebu City said it will accept invitations from barangays who wants to have an off-site registration for their residents.
Atty. Marchel Sarno, Election Officer of Comelec Cebu City North District, said that they have already conducted six off-site registrations in barangays under the 1st district. The latest satellite registration was reportedly conducted in Barangay Lahug last Saturday and 499 new voters were registered.
Sarno said that the number is higher compared to their 200 daily turn outs. This Saturday another off-site registration will be conducted at Barangay Lusaran.
Sarno said that Lusaran is the farthest barangay in the city’s north district. He said they are expecting a greater turnout from the barangay because the registration will be open to other neighboring mountain barangays whose residents cannot afford to go to Comelec office in the city.
Since last December up to the first quarter of this year, the north district has been able to register 14,000 new voters.
Atty. Lionel Marco Castillano, Provincial Election Officer, said that from January to March this year, the province has registered 79,000 new voters.
At present, Cebu reportedly has 2,057,187 registered voters. This includes those who just registered as well as old voters.
Castillano appreciated that most of the newly-registered voters are from the youth. He said that Comelec’s effort to conduct registrations on Saturdays have helped encourage the youth to register. Castillano said that even if it is summer vacation, not all of the youth are available since some are having summer classes.
He also said that youth used to be passive when it comes to elections but since many youth organizations and non-government organizations are making ways to make registering an “in” thing, many want to practice their right to suffrage.
Castillano said he is also hopeful that full automation will be implemented this election. He said that based on their timeline, the bids and awards committee should already have chosen by May 24 the provider of equipment to be used for full automation.
Castillano said that the secrecy of the ballot would be protected when automation is implemented since only few people will be able to physically hold the ballots and that computers will be the ones to process it.
Castillano said that the Comelec expects that if automation will be applied, the casting of votes will be over by 6 p.m. and that by 10 p.m. winners for the local elections can be proclaimed. It is also possible that the following day, national election winners will also be proclaimed, he said.