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Tuesday, June 25, 2024

‘Double registrants’ to face charges

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The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Thursday warned that it will file election offenses against individuals who are found to commit double registration.

“While registration for new voters, transfer, change/corrections of entries in the registration records, reactivation of registration records,  expired on January 31, 2023, the Comelec is now evaluating and reviewing all registered voters,” Comelec chief George Erwin Garcia said. 

“We have the AFIS (Automated Fingerprint Identification System) that counterchecks registered voters. If we see a probable cause, those who cheat and you see in another registration, who changed names, changed appearance but have the same fingerprint, we will file a complaint of an election offense,” Comelec spokesperson Rex Laudiangco said in an interview over DZBB.

Individuals who are guilty of election offense may face six years imprisonment, a fine, perpetual disqualification from holding public office, and forfeiture of their right to suffrage and to run for public office, Laudianco said.

Earlier, the Comelec directed the constitution of Special Election Registration Boards (SERBs) to remove more than 400,000 double or multiple registrants which are identified through the Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS).

The Comelec said it will soon file cases against those who were already caught having registered more than once. The process on which this action would be undertaken is currently being finalized at the En Banc level.

According to Comelec data, 91,912,429 voters are registered for the 2023 BSKE.

Meanwhile, Comelec said it has approved internet voting for overseas voters in the 2025 national and local elections (NLE).

“Internet voting is intended to achieve higher overseas voter turnout,” the poll body said.

The Comelec spent P411 million in the previous national elections, but was only able to get a 39 percent voter turnout, which is still the highest in history.

Overseas Filipino voters need to go to embassies to cast their votes, the poll regulator also said, adding that overseas Filipinos need another mode of voting system, like the internet.

The approval of the conduct of electronic/internet voting for overseas Filipino voters was based on Section 16.11 of Republic Act No. 9189, Section 28 of RA 10390 and Section 23 of RA 10390.

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