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Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Comelec wants mall voting sites

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the Commission on Elections is pushing for more mall precincts for the next polls and suggested conducting a “special general registration” to cleanse the voters list for the 2028 national elections.

Comelec spokesperson John Rex Laudiangco said the poll body is considering the broader implementation of mall voting in the 2025 midterm elections.

“All of this is at no cost to the Comelec and the government.  All expenses will be shouldered by partner malls,” he said.

The Comelec tested mall voting last Oct. 30  for barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan officials in the first village elections since 2018.

The Comelec is optimistic that developers will make adjustments to accommodate more precincts in their malls. Limited implementation for the pilot test meant that ballot boxes had to be transported to schools for the counting and canvassing of votes.

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Laudiangco expressed hope that the entire voting and counting process could be done at malls in 2025.

He said the poll body will likewise urge Congress to pass an early voting law to allow vulnerable sectors to register and vote earlier.

In a separate interview, poll chairman George Garcia said he wants to conduct a national special registration to cleanse the voters list for the 2028 elections.

“For the 2028 elections, what if we annul the list of voters? Let’s conduct a special general registration for a month, we can do that in 2026 as preparatory for 2028,” Garcia said.

“It’s always like that — names are always missing, even during the 2022 elections… That’s why we should think of a solution before the 2028 elections. Why not annul the list of voters, let’s have a special registration for one month?” he added.

The proposed one-month special registration period can be held in 2026 in preparation for the 2028 national elections, the official said.

However, Garcia said the conduct of special general registration would need an additional budget for the Comelec.

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