Deactivated voter? Here’s what to do with incorrect voter status on Comelec platform

April 26, 2022 - 5:08 PM
Comelec Precinct Finder
A screenshot of Comelec's online precinct finder for the 2022 national and local elections as taken from Comelec's website. (Screenshot from the Comelec's website by Interaksyon)

The poll body advised voters with “deactivated” or “no record” status on the online precinct finder to approach their local Commission of Elections office to verify if they could vote during the 2022 elections.

The Comelec on April 22 made public its voter precinct finder on its website to let Filipinos verify their voter status and the precinct where they will cast their votes on May 9.

Some voters who exercised their right to suffrage during the midterm elections in 2019, the most recent elections, claimed that they were already tagged as “deactivated” voters.

According to the Voters Registration Act of 1996, also known as Republic Act 8189, those who “did not vote in the two (2) successive preceding regular elections as shown by their voting records” will have a deactivated status.

“For this purpose, regular elections do not include the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections,” it said.

Comelec Commissioner George Garcia told DZMM Teleradyo that the Sangguniang Kabataan and barangay elections are already considered regular elections under a Supreme Court decision.

“And therefore po, for purposes of computing ‘yung tinatawag na 2 (two) consecutive election, kasama po ang 2018, so ‘pag hindi po kayo nakaboto ng 2018 at hindi ka po nakaboto ng 2019, kayo po ay ide-deactivate ng Commission on Elections,” he said on Monday.

Garcia said in another report that the SK elections were in 2018.

The SK is a council meant to represent the youth in each barangay, the smallest administrative division in the country.

Meanwhile, those sentenced to imprisonment, who committed rebellion, sedition, violation of anti-subversion and firearm laws, or any crime against national security, cannot vote.

People who have been declared insane or incompetent and those whose registration has been excluded by the Court will also be deactivated.

Moreover, individuals who lost their Filipino citizenship will get the same voter registration status.

What to do with ‘deactivated’ status, ‘no record found’ tag

Comelec’s clarification came after some voters claimed to be tagged as “deactivated” upon checking their status on the online precinct finder.

This included DZMM Teleradyo writer Christian Yosores who claimed that he voted in 2016, 2018 and 2019.

“It is only today that I learned that my voter reg status is DEACTIVATED. I assumed that it was active since I voted for the past three elections — National elex in 2016 & Brgy/SK in 2018 via in-person, and Senatorial in 2019 via Media Absentee Voting. Anyare???” he tweeted.

“Hello @COMELEC. Hope you could shed a light on this. Been seeing some people whose voter reg status is ‘under review’ despite being active voters too,” Yosores added.

“#KakamPinks, pls. check your names in the COMELEC Precinct Finder. I just checked mine and it says I’ve been deactivated!? (angry emoji) @COMELEC, anong k*g*guhan ‘to? I voted in the 2016 and 2019 elections,” another Twitter user claimed.

“My mother, who also voted during the 2019 Midterm Elections, was also deactivated upon checking her name on the precinct finder. Anong kalokohan na naman ito?” a different Filipino tweeted.

Yosores shared an interview clip of Garcia after they asked the poll body about the incident.

According to the commissioner, their voter database relies on the data of local Comelec offices.

“So kung ano po ‘yung sinubmit nila sa amin, ‘yun po ‘yung aasahan ng aming main office,” Garcia said.

He advised Filipinos to recheck their status until Tuesday as the system could have “overloaded.”

Garcia additionally said that they could go to the local Comelec office in their area to verify their voter registration status in person.

“Meron din pong nag-report na ‘yun nga pong sa verifier, eh not registered, na deactivated. Pero noong pumunta po sa local Comelec at nakatanggap po ng voter’s information sheet, ay nakalista naman po,” he said.

“Dun po sa mga nagdududa ngayon, puwede niyo po puntahan ‘yung local Comelec niyo,” Garcia added.

This is because local Comelec offices have the actual records of those who voted in the past elections.

Another Twitter user shared that Filipinos can also call their local Comelec offices as an alternative.

“That was my case but a quick call revealed my name is still (on) the voters’ list,” he wrote amid voter registration issues on the “deactivated” tag.

“Apparently, Barangay election is considered as a regular election. So if the last time you voted (were) in 2016, your voter’s registration would be deactivated. My case may have been a fluke,” the Twitter user added.

Former presidential spokesperson of Aquino, Edwin Lacierda, also reported that the public with “no record” on the Comelec precinct finder may check their records with their local poll office.

“A friend told me to verify my voter status online. I did & it said ‘No Record Found’ w/c was weird. I voted regularly. Thus I went to our local Comelec ofc, the lady asked for my ID & w/in 15 sec, she said ‘Active po kayo. Marami pong nagverify online, wala pangalan nila, ero pag nag verify sa amin, active po ang record nila,'” Lacierda tweeted.

“Don’t give up if the online finder says ‘No Record Found.’ Our local Comelec lady was very gracious & the response was swift but that notwithstanding, it’s your right to shape our country’s future. Fight for your right!” he advised voters.

Information about the local Comelec offices can be accessed on the poll’s body website.