Edukasyon’s Guide to Voter Registration
Aug 17, 2021
The pandemic may have stopped a lot of things, but it hasn’t stopped our ability to exercise our rights and make our voices heard.
The 2022 elections are coming up, and it is the best opportunity to really make our voice heard. But hold on! Before you actually vote in the elections, there’s one very important thing to take care of first: making sure you’re actually registered to vote by September 30.
Many people think voter registration is tedious and complicated, but it’s actually quite simple! This guide will tell you all you need to know about the process. Here are some of the most important questions about voter registration, answered:
1. What do I need to register?
Because voting is our right as citizens, you don’t need to prepare much before you register. There’s really only one important thing you need to make sure you bring for voter’s registration: a valid ID.
A valid ID is any official ID with a picture, name, and address of the person presenting it. It’s only required for the purpose of verifying your identity and making sure that you’re you.
A valid ID can be a postal ID, driver’s license, PWD ID, and many more. Your school ID (signed by your principal or administrator) also counts! We know you have a valid ID on you for sure, so there’s no excuse for not being able to register. If you’re still not sure exactly what counts as a valid ID, COMELEC has a list of some of the most common examples here (under Documentary Requirements).
2. How do I register?
The first step is to locate your local Office of the Election Officer (OEO). Make sure you register in a city that you’ve been living in for at least 6 months. In most cases, these are located in your city hall. If you want to be sure, you can also Google “(your city) COMELEC”.
Look for their contact information and call them to book an appointment for voter registration. In this pandemic, slots are definitely limited, so make sure you confirm the appointment details. Satellite registration, which includes mall registration, is also an option. You can find the list of participating malls here.
Once you’ve confirmed your appointment, the next step is to fill out the necessary COMELEC registration forms. While you can also do this in your OEO location itself, filling them out beforehand saves a lot of time and energy.
The necessary forms can be downloaded from COMELEC’s website. The primary form is the CEF-1, which is the application for registration. Annex B, the Supplementary Data form, only needs to be filled out by Indigenous Peoples or PWDs. Lastly, there is also a Contact Tracing / Health Declaration form, which we are all more than familiar with at this point.
To make things even easier, another option is to fill out the application online. This way, you don’t have to manually fill out the actual forms. Instead, by using iRehistro, you can input your information directly into COMELEC’s application portal. Once you’ve completed the application, tap the button that says “Show Provided Information Details”, and print three copies of the form. You’ll need this during your actual appointment. Remember, don’t sign the form yet since it must be signed in front of the Election Officer.
3. What happens during registration?
On the day and time of your appointment, make sure you set aside a few hours for the whole process so that you make sure you have enough time to complete your registration. Make sure to bring with you your valid ID, a photocopy of the ID, and the filled-in application forms.
Most of your time will be spent waiting in line, since only a limited number of people are allowed at a time. Once it’s your turn, an electoral officer will review your application and check for errors. If everything’s good, your application will officially be entered into the Election Registration Board’s (ERB) system. Once that’s done, you will proceed to biometrics capturing, where your photo, fingerprints, and digital signature will be taken.
And that’s it! COMELEC officials will hand you a signed and stamped acknowledgement receipt. Make sure you keep this in case you’re asked for proof of voter’s registration during the actual elections.
See, not hard at all, right? Remember, the deadline for voters’ registration is September 30, 2021. So don’t wait any longer, wear your facemask and face shield, bring your own ballpen, and get registered to vote today!
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