Comelec to streamline voter registration process through mobile app

June 14, 2021 - 4:12 PM
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Comelec office
This undated 2016 photo shows the Commission on Elections office at the Palacio del Gobernador in Intramuros, Manila. (Philstar.com/AJ Bolando)

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) is set to launch a mobile voter registration app on Tuesday that seeks to streamline the voter registration process.

“This mobile app can be accessed with any smartphone even when offline,” the statement read.

In a press release on Monday, the Comelec said the launching of the Mobile Registration Form App will be held in Tagum City, Davao del Norte.

Commissioner Marlon Casquejo, who conceptualized the project, said the launching is “timely” amid mobility restrictions brought by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This will save time, effort, and money that will otherwise be spent on going to a computer shop to download and print the form or getting the form at the local Comelec to fill it out manually,” Casquejo said.

Comelec added that mobile voter registration has been rolled out in selected pilot areas and is currently being implemented in more than 500 cities and municipalities nationwide.

The poll body, however, explained that the registration process could not be done fully online, and registrants would have to drop by their respective Comelec offices.

The registrants could use the voter registration app to submit necessary personal information.

Once registrants have successfully accomplished the form, the app will generate a QR code where they can present it when they visit their local Comelec office to have their biometrics taken.

Mobile voter registration to ease burden, more accessible

Earlier this year, some potential registrants expressed the need for online registration, citing the limited capacity of satellite voters’ registration booths amid pandemic.

“Bakit hindi na lang gawing total online registration? Lalo na sa mga senior citizen napakalaki ng risk. Be creative. Nagtatanong para sa senior citizen na gustong magperehistro,” a Twitter user said in January.

“I’ve registered in 2019, but please heed suggestions by many to extend registration hours to accommodate more people, as well as more satellite offices so there won’t be crowding. This is in line with WHO’s COVID-19 election guidelines,” a Twitter user suggested. 

“Hopefully Makati COMELEC can allow more than 50 registrants per day. I plan to transfer my registration sana kaso lines start at 4am. I just can’t with my work. Plus the online appointments are already full until April,” a user tweeted responding to Comelec Commissioner Rowena Guanzon.

Some Twitter users emphasized the practicality of the registration app, saying that it will speed up the registration process.

“About time. Although need pa rin talaga magpunta ng Comelec office near your place but atleast mas bibilis. Sana,” another user said.

Several organizations also welcomed the launching of the registration app and encouraged more Filipinos to register to vote given the app’s accessibility.

The mobile voter registration app could be downloaded through the link bit.ly/MobileFormApp.

As of April 2021, the Comelec has recorded about 59 million registered voters for the 2022 local and national elections.

The deadline for voter registration is on Sept. 30, 2021. —Ma. Alena O. Castillo