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PIA Press Release

Comelec clarifies voters' deactivation

by Jemin B. Guillermo

Roxas City (3 February) -- The Commission on Elections (Comelec) disclosed that the reported 53,325 names removed from the voters' list in Bacolod are registered voters who failed to vote during the May 2007 midterm elections and in the October 2007 Barangay elections.

Comelec spokesman James Jimenez, however, assured the public that the move from the poll body to deactivate registered voters is "above board and actually a part of efforts to cleanse the voters list."

Jimenez explained that the numbers of deactivated voters may appear to be big, but "we have to take into account the fact that there were two elections in 2007. "

He said that the law provides that if voters failed to vote in both electoral exercises, the COMELEC will have to deactivate them.

Section 27 of Republic Act No. 8189 or the Continuing Registration Act provides that the COMELEC shall deactivate the registration and remove the registration records of persons "who did not vote in the two (2) successive preceding regular elections as shown by their voting records," he pointed out.

He added that under said law, regular elections does not include the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections.

Jimenez also said that the COMELEC will immediately notify by mail the registered voters who were deactivated from the voters' list.

"We will advise them to reactivate their voters' registration record as soon as possible so that they may be able to vote in the May 10, 2010 national and local elections," he said.

Jimenez also noted that there is in fact "ample time" for deactivated voters to apply for reactivation because the voters' registration period will run until December 15, 2009. (Comelec/PIA) [top]

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