Long lines anew as Comelec resumes voters’ registration
More than 700 people lined up to register at the Cebu City office of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) yesterday, a day after the agency finished processing the candidacies of those running in next year’s elections.
“Definitely many came to register because October 31 is the deadline,” said Comelec Cebu City north district election assistant Omar Sharif Mamalinta.
The long line of registrants stretched to the next building.
Nearly 300 people applied for registration in the city’s south district while 400 in the north district.
Therese Jereza, a 20-year-old resident of barangay Lahug, said it took her nearly an hour to sign up and get her biometrics data taken for next year’s elections.
“Okay ra man. Dali ra siya, dili man diay hassle and na-accommodate ra dayon (It’s okay. It’s not a hassle and I got accommodated quickly),” she said.
Mamalinta said they have express lanes for senior citizens, pregnant women and persons with disabilities.
“We do have lanes. But we also make sure to cater to the regular voters,” he said.
He said there are more first-time voters in Cebu City and there were a lot of transferees.
Cebu City North District Election Officer Marchel Sarno said they extended their schedule to accommodate the expected rush of late applicants.
The deadline for voter’s registration falls on October 31.
Starting yesterday, Comelec offices in the north and south districts will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Mondays to Sundays.
But if the crowd gets bigger, Sarno said, they will have to implement a cut-off in the afternoon to cater to those who lined up.
Sarno said Comelec will conduct an off-site registration at Robinsons Cybergate today.
While it usually takes only five minutes to encode the personal data and biometrics of a voter, registrants wait much longer due to the long lines.
A citizen has to get a query number and provide basic personal information during the short interview.
He or she will be asked to fill out a voter’s registration form to be submitted to the Comelec staff.
The information will be encoded and the registrant’s photo and fingerprints will then be taken.
Registrants are required to bring a valid ID or birth certificate.
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