The Commission on Elections spokesperson Director James Jimenez announced that with the resumption of voter registration on September 1, the filing of applications will take place from Tuesdays to Saturdays, including holidays, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Office of the Election Officer.
Those who are not yet registered are encouraged to download the application form from the Comelec website www.comelec.gov.ph, fill it out, and proceed to their local Comelec office to affix their signatures before the Election Officer.
Aside from the imposition of a “No Face Mask and Face Shield, No Entry” policy, Comelec advised those who will register to bring their own pens as a precautionary measure against the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019. Additionally, the number of registrants or transactions per day will be limited and applicant’s mask will only be taken off during the photo session that is part of the biometrics procedure.
Free and fair elections are the cornerstone of any working democracy. However, only registered voters can practice the right of suffrage and determine their country’s future through the selection of the right leaders. Registered voters who exercise their right on election day allow the will of the people to be expressed, ideally allowing public servants who have kept their campaign promises and performed well to keep their posts or replacing the mediocre, underperforming and disappointing members of society who have bungled their chances at public service, with those who have clearly outlined their platforms and plans for the future.
In a democracy, it is not true that the power lies with the people. No matter how educated, principled or discerning a citizen may be, that person has no power to change the course of the country unless they become registered voters. Until a citizen registers as a voter and casts his or her ballot on Election Day, he or she is just a rabble rouser or a troll: noisy but unable to effect lasting change through the mighty power of the ballot.
Register to vote. Those who have already registered must encourage those who haven’t and those who are making up excuses because of COVID-19 to take this important step to being a responsible citizen willing to take part and accept the responsibility of charting our nation’s future.*