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Number of 2010 voters exceeds 50M - Comelec

January 8, 2010 2:02pm

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) said Friday that the number of registered voters for this year's May 10 presidential elections has exceeded the 50-million mark, the largest figure recorded in Philippine history.

"We have more than 50 million registered voters, (or exactly) 50,086,054. This is the largest so far," Comelec spokesman James Jimenez told reporters in a chance interview.

Jimenez said that this figure excludes the 258,691 additional voters who were able to register during the extended registration held on December 21, 22, 23, 28, and 29. [See: Extended registration yields a quarter million new voters]

Comelec "expected" rise in voter numbers

In contrast, there were just 45,029,443 registered voters during the previous polls in 2007. Jimenez quickly stressed that the Comelec "expected" the number to go up this much based on the increasing population in the Philippines.

"Yes, because the number of voters, it always rises during elections, hindi naman kumokonti ang Pilipino. It fits with the expectation," he said, adding that their projection was based on the number of Filipinos expected to turn 18 before the elections and those expected to register.

"So far parang tama naman yung (the) projection (seems to be right)," he said.

Jimenez pointed out, however, that the purging of the list is still ongoing. "Siyempre patuloy ang ating (Our) cleansing (is ongoing), so we’ll see how (the number) moves up or down in the next few days."

He said the Election Registration Board (ERB) hearings were completed last January 9, except for one or two more places. Commissioner Gregorio Larrazabal had earlier said that two more towns in Sulu — Pata and Kalingalan Caluang — had yet to submit data to the poll body's main office in Manila.

Jimenez said they expect to finalize the list of voters by next week. And depending on that, he said they will determine how many clustered precincts there will be.

Clustered precincts

At present, Jimenez said they have 75,471 clustered precincts. Each clustered precinct will have one Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machine – each of which can supposedly accommodate up to 1,000 voters.

Earlier, the Comelec had said that it will not be printing additional ballots for those who registered during the extended registration period.

The poll body, however, said additional voters could still vote if there would be "spare" ballots on election day.

Jimenez said this is possible as there is "usually low voter turnout" during the polls, thus there could still be extra ballots for additional registrants. He added that the "low" turnout during the extended listup shows that they were right in their decision.

8,000 PCOS machines arriving next week

Meanwhile, he said they expect 8,000 PCOS machines to arrive on Saturday and 10,000 more units to arrive in two batches next week.

"About 33,800 have already been taken out of the factory, ibig sabihin gawa na at waiting shipment na lamang (which means they are already manufactured but are just awaiting shipment)," he said, adding that this number is separate from the 7,200 poll machines which were delivered last week.

A total of 82,200 PCOS units are expected to be delivered before the end of February.- RSJ/TJD, GMANews.TV
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