Voters who failed to participate in the past two elections will be deactivated as part of a nationwide "cleansing" process, according to the Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Monday.
"That is part of the cleansing process natin, 'yung deactivation. That is required by the law... Under Republic Act 8189, kapag hindi ka nakaboto for two elections, ide-deactivate ka," lawyer Dindo Maglasang of the Comelec's Election and Barangay Affairs Department told GMA News Online.
Section 27 of the RA 8189 or the Voter's Registration Act of 1996, which provides for the grounds for deactivation of voters' registration, says that the Election Registration Board "shall deactivate the registration and remove the registration records" of any person "who did not vote in the two (2) successive preceding regular elections as shown by their voting records."
In May 2018, the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections were held.
The midterm polls, on the other hand, were held in May 2019.
Deactivated voters may apply for reactivation until September 30, 2019, which is the deadline of the ongoing voters' registration.
"Meron tayong ongoing registration until September 30 po iyan... that is why 'yung process of deactivation namin was made nitong last Monday na election board hearing para they have the opportunity to file for reactivation," Maglasang said.
He underscored that deactivated voters will simply be placed on "inactive" status but will not be deleted in the Comelec's database.
"Kung hindi sila makapagpa-reactivate tapos natuloy ang barangay elections, hindi sila makakaboto," he added.
The next barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections are scheduled for May 2020, but President Rodrigo Duterte has urged the Congress during his State of the Nation Address for a postponement to October 2022.
Maglasang said that the Comelec is currently in the process of collating the tally of all deactivated voters nationwide. — BM, GMA News