Comelec urges first-time voters to register for 2013 polls

By Anna Valmero

MANILA CITY, METRO MANILA— First-time voters and de-listed voters are encouraged to register themselves as voters for the upcoming 2013 midterm elections, according to the Commission on Elections (Comelec).

After the holiday break, Comelec resumed its voters’ registration nationwide except in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM). Applications will be accepted until October 31, said Comelec spokesman James Jimenez.

Eligible first-time voters are those who have reached the voting age of 18 years old and above.

Meanwhile, de-listed voters who were unable to vote in the past two general elections could also reactivate their registration to be able to cast the ballot on 2013, Jimenez said.

Likewise, voters who would like to correct their data such as surname, birth date and address could do so by updating their voter’s registration data and transferring of precincts, the official added.

This early, registered voters are also advised to validate their registration and check their precinct number to avoid the long lines during deadlines. This would also ensure that they would be able to vote in the precinct nearest their home, in case they have recently transferred their home address.

“Applicants should visit the local Comelec offices nearest them to register to avoid the long lines and the hassle during the last two weeks. Earlier registration would also mean that the names are processed into the computerized voters' list,” Jimenez said.

Voters can register from Mondays to Saturdays, including holidays from 8am to 5pm, and are advised to bring a valid school, company or government ID.

Voters are advised to bring the original and photocopies of the birth certificate authenticated by the National Statistics Office to verify an applicant’s age. Billing statements for water, electricity and other bills could also be required to verify an applicant’s residence.

The additional documents may be requested to prevent double registration and flying voters, the official said.

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