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House okays bill seeking to cleanse national voters' list

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Determined to eliminate flying voters, the House of Representatives has approved on third and final reading a measure cleansing the national voters' list from multiple registrants to curb cheating and ensure the results of elections are reflective of the genuine will of the people.

Tarlac Rep. Susan Yap, one of the authors of House Bill No. 3469, said those who shall be submitted for validation are voters registered as of May 10, 2010 national elections and those who will register under Republic Act No. 8189 or "The Voter's Registration Act of 1996" without biometrics data.

Yap said the city and municipal Election Officer, through the use of Data Capturing Machines (DCMs), shall conduct the validation process by taking the biometrics of voters.

"A registered voter shall submit for live capture of his or her photograph, fingerprint and signature through the use of DCMs before the EO of the city or municipality," she said.

Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez, co-author of the measure, said an automated general registration will help the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to nullify all existing registrations, purge the padded old voter's list and come up with a new computerized certified voter's list that is free from double or multiple registrants.

"By doing this, it will ensure an honest, clean and credible election, plebiscite or referendum. It is hoped that cheating during electoral exercises would be a thing of the past," he said.

Under the measure, the Comelec shall implement, in a uniform and non-discriminatory manner, a single, official, centralized, interactive computerized voter registration list defined, maintained and administered by the Commission.

The computerized list shall serve as the single system for storing and managing the official list of registered voters throughout the country.

The bill also provides that the computerized list contains the name and registration information of every legally registered voter and assigns a unique identifier to each legally registered voter.
The computerized list shall be coordinated with other agency databases.

HB 3469 also mandates any authorized election official, including any local election official, to obtain immediate electronic access to the information contained in the computerized list.

All voter registration information obtained by any local election official shall also be electronically entered into the computerized list on an expedited basis at the time the information is provided to the local official.

Voters who fail to submit for validation on or before the last day of filing of application for registration for purposes of the 2013 national and local elections, despite due notice, shall be deactivated from the registration record of the voters by the Election Registration Board.

Those deactivated may apply before the ERB for reactivation with simultaneous validation and the applicant, if eligible, shall be included as a matter of right in the Registration Record of Voters.

Co-authors of the measure include Reps. Elpidio Barzaga Jr. (Cavite), Maximo Rodriguez Jr. (Abante Mindanao Inc. party-list), Andres Salvacion Jr. (Leyte), Francisco Emmanuel Ortega III (Abono party-list), Neri Colmenares (Bayan Muna party-list), Rex Gatchalian (Valenzuela City), Ana Cristina Go (Isabela), Lord Allan Velasco (Marinduque), Karlo Alexei Nograles (Davao City), Rodante Marcoleta (Alagad party-list), Pedro Romualdo (Camiguin), Antonio Diaz (Zambales), Walden Bello (Akbayan party-list), Dante Antonio Tinio (Act Teachers party-list), Reynaldo Umali (Oriental Mindoro), Simeon Datumanong (Maguindanao), Victor Ortega (La Union) and Erico Aumentado (Bohol). (PNA/PIA9-BST)

 




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