COMELEC and Voter Deactivation

Last July 13, I received a letter (computer printout) from the COMELEC which said: "Please be informed that your registration record as a voter will be deactivated by the Election Registration Board (ERB) of this District, when it convenes on July 18, 2005 for failure to vote in two (2) successive regular elections pursuant to Sec. 27 of Republic Act No. 8189."

The thing is, I voted during these recent elections.

I wish the letter they sent me already contained the appropriate contact number.

Anyway, I found the phone number of the applicable COMELEC NCR office. I called and was asked to personally visit their office.

I tried calling again the following day and was able to speak to the Election Officer, and she kindly agreed to help me clarify the matter over the phone.

It turns out there was an encoding error, so my name was removed from the list of registration records marked for deactivation. The staff of the Election Officer apologized for the error.

What a relief! I do not have to go through the hassle of Sec. 28 of RA 8189: "Any voter whose registration has been deactivated pursuant to the preceding Section may file with the Election Officer a sworn application for reactivation of his registration in the form of an affidavit stating that the grounds for the deactivation no longer exist any time but not later than one hundred twenty (120) days before a regular election and ninety (90) days before a special election."

Found this cached copy of a Manila Standard Online entry (May 11, 2004):

"We warned that this would be a huge problem. Either the computer voters list is not posted or it is with missing names. We were surprised to find a deactivation list which contained names of people who went through validation but were deactivated," said (Namfrel executive director Guillermo) Luz, slamming Tancangco for making a mess of the electoral process.

"Someone should be prosecuted for that because it was a billion-peso program and you don't spend a billion pesos and see a messed-up list. Someone has to be accountable for that," said Luz.

[ First posted on 07/15/2005 by Manuel Viloria ]



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