Comelec says no more extension for OAV registration

September 1, 2009 10:29 am 

MANILA, Sept. 1 — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) will no longer extend the registration of Filipinos working overseas for the overseas absentee voting (OAV).

Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez said the poll body could no longer afford to extend the registration, which started in February and ended on Monday, August 31.

“The deadline was set for a reason and the reason was for the preparations for the elections, for the allocation of the ballots,” he said.

Jimenez noted that the deadline that was set was the maximum allowable time. “We cannot afford in terms of time to extend it.”

Migrante International, a group of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) has proposed to extend the registration until the end of 2009.

OAV registrations would allow the workers to participate in the 2010 elections even if they are working abroad.

However, the group has yet to file a formal request for their proposal.

With this, Jimenez advised Migrante to file a petition before the Comelec, instead of seeking media’s attention.

Earlier, the poll body said it expects the registration of one million voters for the OAV.

But, as of latest data available (August 27), they only gathered 204,720, with the United States recording the biggest number of registrants at 29,785.

Meanwhile, Jimenez revealed that they have come up with the proposed design of the ballot that will be used in next year’s polls.

“It’s 20 inches long and has 300 names on each side for a total of 600 names,” he said.

However, Jimenez said that the design is not yet final as it is still open for revisions.

“The way we look at it, that should be enough already,” he said.

Jimenez added that they are holding group discussions with different sectors, on the design of the ballot. (PNA)



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