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PIA Press Release

Comelec extends working hours to accommodate registrants

by Maritess Benas

Bangued, Abra (31 October) -- The Commission on Elections (COMELEC) had extended its working hours starting October 22 until October 31, 2009 to accommodate voters who will register for the 2010 elections.

This was announced by Abra Provincial Election Supervisor Atty. Vanessa Rongcal during the special meeting of the UGNAYAN Committee at the Provincial Capitol Social Hall last Thursday.

Rongcal said the COMELEC offices in all the 27 municipalities are open from Monday to Friday at 8:00 in the morning to 9:00 in the evening; and on Saturday from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM. On October 31, the deadline of registration, their offices will be open from 8:00 AM till 12:00 midnight.

The Provincial officer also appealed to the general public through the UGNAYAN Committee to report to her Comelec offices in the municipalities that are not reporting on the said dates and hours.

During then meeting of the Abra Multi-Sectoral Group (AMSG) last Oct. 28, 2009, Rongcal explained the difference between new registrants and those who need to validate and reactivate their voter's registration.

New registrants are those 18 years and above who have not yet registered with COMELEC before. Those who need to reactivate their registration are those whose name had been deleted from the voters' registration because they failed to vote during the last two elections in 2007 and the barangay election.

Those who need to validate are those registered and at the same time voted, but need to have their biometrics taken in order that they will be included in the computerized list of voters. However, this does not mean that voters who have voted during the last two elections but who have not gone to the COMELEC for validation can no longer vote during the 2010 elections. They only can not secure their computerized voter's ID.

Roncal said COMELEC is prioritizing the registration and reactivation of voters since the old registered voters can vote anyway.

Rongcal also informed that representatives of Smartmatic are already in the province to conduct the site survey to ensure that the automation of the election results will really work come election period.

Meanwhile, the training for the teachers including the members of the AMSG regarding the use of the automated machines will soon be conducted in the province to equip everyone in the technicality of the use of the said machines. (PIA-Abra) [top]

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