Comelec expects up to 71 million registered voters by 2023

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 5) — With the possible postponement of the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (BSK) polls, up to 71 million Filipinos are expected to cast their votes if the schedule will be moved to 2023.

"By Philippine Statistics Authority data, the last quarter of 2023, the voting age of the Philippines will be 73 million plus... and out of that 73 million plus ang ine-expect po namin na registered voters ay [we expect registered voters to reach] around 70-71 million," Commission on Elections (Comelec) spokesperson John Rex Laudiangco said in a briefing Wednesday.

By then, 239,000 to 240,000 precincts will be needed, each to accommodate about 400 voters. This will require more than 600,000 poll workers to ensure the smooth flow of the manual elections, he added.

Currently, Laudiangco said there are around 66 million registered voters and 207,000 clustered precincts.

Congress already transmitted the bill that reschedules the BSK elections from Dec. 5, 2022 to the last Monday of October 2023 to Malacañang for President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr.’s signature. 

Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin earlier said the bill will "most likely" be signed by the chief executive.

While waiting for the final decision, Laudiangco said preparations will continue.

He noted that the National Printing Office is working 24/7 for the printing of ballots, with an expected output of three million per day. Comelec intends to complete this in 30 days.

Other items needed for the polls are due for delivery in the coming weeks, the Comelec official noted.

If the village-level polls will indeed be postponed, Laudiangco assured that nothing will be wasted since whatever that was purchased this year can still be used in the rescheduled elections.

The Comelec also aims to resume voter registration by November, while filing of certificates of candidacy is scheduled on Oct. 22 to 29, he added.