Comelec opens online portal for voters' registration, records updating

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 26) — Voters signing up for the 2022 elections or those fixing their registration details may now submit their applications through the Commission on Elections website.

The Comelec iRehistro, last updated on November 23, allows eligible Filipino voters to submit online application forms.

Applications are accepted for new registrants, transfer and reactivation of voter records, and the change of name or correction of entries on record. Also accepted are requests to include a person's record in the book of voters and the reinstatement of a person's name in the voter's list.

Comelec reopened the registration period on September 1, where Filipino citizens who will be 18 years old by May 9, 2022 – the date of the next elections – can sign up to be a voter. Applications will be accepted until September 2021. 

A person must be a Philippine resident for at least one year and should have a six-month residency in the place where he/she wants to vote.

The poll body disclosed that submitting the forms via the online portal does not mean automatic approval.

"You still have to personally appear before your local Comelec office (or the concerned Philippine embassy or consulate) together with the printed online application forms for QR scanning and biometrics capture to complete the filing process," the iRehistro website said, noting that an applicant must print three copies of the online application form.

The Election Registration Board will decide on the approval of the application. The panel tackles pending applications in quarterly hearings held during the third Monday of January, April, July, and October each year.

The iRehistro portal collects a person's full name, date and place of birth, sex, civil status, citizenship details, and address from new applicants. It also requires disclosure for registered senior citizens, persons with disability, indigenous, or illiterate.

At the end of the form, a person may set an appointment on when to visit the local Comelec office to provide biometrics, such as fingerprints and signatures.

Comelec offices are open from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. during weekdays, while Friday is assigned as disinfection day amid the COVID-19 pandemic. These offices will be closed on November 30 and December 8 in observance of national holidays.

The process will be halted in areas declared under enhanced community quarantine and modified ECQ.

Earlier, Comelec said it will not offer a fully online registration for voters given the need to collect biometrics data. The poll body was under fire in 2016 for a data leak which is said to have compromised voters' records.

READ: Comelec: No biometrics in leaked data