Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Voters told: have biometrics taken

SENATOR Richard Gordon urged Filipino voters to go to the Commission on Election (Comelec) office in their respective areas and have their biometrics taken to validate their registrations before the 2010 polls.

Gordon, author of the amended Automated Election System Law, made the calls as he noted that preventing ghost and multiple voters from taking part in next year’s elections will address the problem of retail cheating.

“The automation law would help eradicate wholesale cheating. While we may be modestly successful in reducing irregularities in the ARMM (Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao) elections, there is much work to do,” he said.

To ensure that both who wholesale and retail cheating will no longer mar the next elections, Gordon filed Senate Bill 3065 which seeks to amend RA 8189, the law which rendered ineffective and inoperative the certified voters list used in the 1997 barangay elections.

The law also authorized the poll body to con duct a general registration of voters, adopt a system of continuing registration and to computerize the registration process. In 2003,Comelec started to capture the biometric information of all voters under the Automated Fingerprint Identification System. (AFIS).

However, a Comelec report showed that only 24 million, or half of the 48 million registered voters, are now covered by biometric listing, while its officials claimed lack of sufficient funding, among others, prevented the poll body from full utilizing the machines.

The senator’s proposed amendment seeks to require the submission by new registrants or voters previously registered under the old application procedure of their biometric information.

--By. Marlon Purificacion - Tonight

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