Follow this guide to online voter registration and be ready for Halalan 2022
Some people consider the new year as a new beginning, as a fresh start, as the opportunity to do better and be more than the year before. And while I’m all for this “new year, new me” energy, there is a different date that I’ve been keeping close to my heart since I first became a voter: election day (current: halalan 2022).
The presidential elections may only come every six years, but I think we can all agree that it is a day to make a difference and start anew (at least, we hope so).
Here’s the thing though: We can only incite the change we push for. And as far as the Philippine Presidential Elections are concerned, our participation is key. And what do we need in order to do that? Register.
Quarantine and lockdown have changed the process of voter registration a little. But in case you think this is a barrier (or an excuse), here’s your guide to online voter registration for Halalan 2022 and beyond.
Step 1: Make sure you’re eligible
For the record, you will need to meet the following requirements in order to register as a voter:
- A Filipino citizen
- At least 18 years old on or before the next Election Day (which is May 9, 2022)
- A resident of the Philippines for at least one year and a resident of the place in which you intent to vote in for the last six months
Step 2: Get the paperwork together and book an appointment
The official COMELEC forms are available online. The standard forms are the CEF-1 and Coronavirus Self Declaration Form, but there is a supplementary form for persons with disabilities and indigenous people. Since you can download your own copy, take this opportunity to print and fill out everything in the safety of your home, so you’ll only need to sign and stamp on your fingerprints at the COMELEC office.
And while you’re printing things out, please make a photocopy of your valid ID—you’ll only need one copy and they can be any of the following:
- Employee ID with employer’s signature
- Postal ID
- PWD discount ID
- Student’s ID with school representative’s signature
- Senior citizen ID
- Driver’s license
- NBI clearance
- SSS/GSIS ID
- Integrated Bar of the Philippines ID
- License issued by the Professional Regulatory Commission
- Certificate of confirmation issued by the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (in case of members of ICCs or IPs)
After or while you’re getting the paperwork in order, you can also book your appointment. For most areas, this happens at their city hall. If you’re unsure, a quick “(city) comelec” search will likely lead you to an official website, which will then have its own appointment booking system. Be patient; there are only a certain number of slots available per work day.
Step 3: Follow through with the appointment
The next step is to actually go to your appointment, armed with all the paperwork you already filled out and made copies of. What happens next might differ depending on your area, but do expect the first step to be filling out a contract tracing form (because that is now the first step to everything), followed by a review of your filled up application—which you’ll sign in front of the electoral officer once everything is given the green light. After that, your application will be digitized and officially entered into the Election Registration Board’s system.
Next up is biometrics, which means your photo will be taken, and you’ll digitally leave your signature and fingerprints. The last thing is important and the only thing you will literally take away with you: you will be provided with a stamped acknowledgement receipt. Keep this in a safe place, because you might have to come back with it if there are any issues (and you’ll need it to claim your Voter’s ID or certification).
Step 4: Wait it out
So just because you applied, doesn’t actually mean that you’re officially registered. And while it would be great to just log in your details onto a website, COMELEC currently doesn’t have this available. In order to check that you’re officially registered for Halalan 2022, they suggest to make a call to the Election Officer from your city or municipality.
But there is hope! According to their website, “online registration verification services are currently under development and may be available on this website soon”—but I wouldn’t count on it, tbh; make the call.
But don’t wait too long
Look, registration is only until September 30, 2021, and we already mentioned that the local offices will only allow a certain number of people to register per day. So please do this as early as you can. And before you say it, your vote does matter.
There’s not much that the everyday citizen can do, but we can do this. Let’s show up for Halalan 2022.
Art Matthew Ian Fetalver