Sunday, January 10, 2010

Comelec projects 80% turnout for 2010 polls

Says more people are interested in casting their votes because of the new, automated system

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) is projecting an 80% voter turnout--or 40 million votes to be cast--this year, higher than the average 75% it normally set in previous polls.

Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez told reporters Friday that more voters will be keen on casting their votes to try the new, automated system. Another factor that will increase voters' interest are the fact that it's a presidential election, and there are a number of "interesting" candidates.

"In the run up to this election, we have to understand that [election-related matters] are always in the news.... ...So, we really expect that it (the interest generated) will translated into voting numbers on election day," Jimenez said.

Citing projections made by the National Census and Statistics Office, Jimenez said the target 50 million voters population for the 2010 elections has been exceeded.

As of September last year, the total number of registered voters was at P50,086,054, and the clustered precincts reached 75,471. The numbers are still subject to change due to the continuous cleansing of voters list, and the additional voters from the extended registration.

New registrants
Jimenez also reported that, as of now, the current number of voters generated by extended registration has already reached 258,691. Comelec is still waiting for statistics from 2 municipalities in Sulu to finalize the tally of late registrants. The extended voters ran December 21-23, and 28-29.

The current statistics of late registrants is a far cry from the 2 million registrants that Kabataan partylist expected to be listed up. The partylist lobbied last year for the extension of the voters registration, which the Supreme Court granted.

In a press conference last Wednesday, commissioner Gregorio Larrazabal said that the threshold on the number of expected voters had been reached during the regular registration. "A lot of people have already registerd. I guess we've reached our target."

But Kabataabn partylist earlier said that even though the Comelec deemed that there was a low turnout in the extended registration, having more than 250,000 registrants for just 5 days is already a success.



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