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Long lines mark last day of Comelec registration

By: Intern April 29,2017 - 11:20 PM
Hundreds of new voters rush to meet the deadline for the registration of voters for the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan polls set to be held in October (until further notice). At the Robinson’s Cybergate, Comelec Cebu City’s satellite registration area, voters waited hours in long lines that snaked through the mall.   CDN PHOTO/JUNJIE MENDOZA

Hundreds of new voters rush to meet the deadline for the registration of voters for the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan polls set to be held in October (until further notice). At the Robinson’s Cybergate, Comelec Cebu City’s satellite registration area, voters waited hours in long lines that snaked through the mall.
CDN PHOTO/JUNJIE MENDOZA

As expected, long lines marked the last day of the voters’ registration as hundreds of last-minute applicants trooped to the Commission on Elections (Comelec) satellite registration area in Cebu City at a mall along Fuente Osmeña.

Comelec chairperson Andres Bautista’s reminder for voters to register before the last day fell on deaf ears as many still opted to beat the buzzer, queuing before nine in the morning to register as voters for the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan polls set to be held in October.

The voters’ registration period for the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan polls began on November 7, 2016 and ended yesterday, April 29.

Majority of voters interviewed by Cebu Daily News cited school, family and work constraints as their reason for delaying their registration and opting to go on the last day.

Among those who waited in line for hours was Theresa Danlag, 28, a resident of Barangay Capitol Site.

Danlag said that while she could have registered earlier, she chose to stay home to take care of her infant son who was sick at the time.

Danlag brought her son along when she finally registered yesterday.

For her part, 18-year-old Jane Myron explained that Saturday was her only day-off from her summer job.

“Dili ni ing-ani ka daghan ang applicants compared to the weekdays. Siguro, karon lang sila naka lugar ug anhi tungod sa ka busy nila. Kung sa weekdays pa ni, 30 minutes or 1 hour lang kay humana na ka,” said Herbert Omblero of Comelec Cebu City.

(The number of applicants would not be this much compared to weekdays. Maybe they found time only today because they were all busy. If they had been here on weekdays, they would have been done in 30 minutes or 1 hour.)

First-time applicants were told to bring copies of their birth certificate, school IDs or baptismal certificates.

The satellite registration booths were set up at the activity center of Ayala Center Cebu from Monday to Thursday.

They were then moved to Robinson’s Cybergate Mall on the last two days of the registration, Friday and Saturday.

By three o’clock in the afternoon, Comelec officials refused to accept any more voter applicants to give them time to process the long line of would-be voters.

So far, the Comelec has received 2,174,601 applications for voters’ registration as a result of regular and satellite registration activities in schools and communities all over the country.

Bautista has said there will be no extension of office hours on April 29 and that offices of the local election officer in towns and cities will only accept applications until  5 p.m.

The Comelec is still continuing its preparations for the October 23  barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan polls since no law has been passed to formally postpone them to another year.

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