Senate Approves Bill Extending Voter Registration Until October 31
Senators on Monday insisted on their call to extend the voter registration period for the 2022 elections as they approved a measure seeking to move the deadline to Oct. 31, 2021.
With 23 affirmative votes, the chamber unanimously passed on third and final reading Senate Bill 2408, which mandates the extension of the voter registration for the 2022 polls to the end of October from Sept. 30.
The bill was crafted following the suggestion of Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon to come up with a measure to pressure the Commission on Elections to extend the voter registration period.
On top of this bill, the chamber also earlier approved two resolutions calling on the Comelec to extend voter registration for one month.
The poll body previously resolved to keep the deadline for voter registration on Sept. 30, saying that extending it would affect their preparations for the 2022 elections.
Senators, however, were concerned that the non-extension of the voter registration period would result in the disenfranchisement of at least 12 million eligible voters.
"We reiterate our desire and wish that the Comelec heed our call for an extension even just one month precisely because our first-time voters are raring to register. They are lining up for hours to be able to register," Sen. Francis Pangilinan earlier said.
"The least that the Comelec can do is not disenfranchise these voters and extend by one month," he added.
Comelec commissioner Marlon Casquejo earlier told lawmakers that should the measure be enacted into law, they would comply with the extension.
The poll body last Friday said it would hold a management committee meeting to discuss the calls to extend voter registration, with a decision expected to be finalized by Sept. 29, one day before the last day of signups.