Philippines calls on celebrities to promote biometric enrollment for upcoming election

The Philippines’ Commission on Elections (Comelec) has called on celebrities to encourage their fans on social media to register their biometrics data so that they will be able to vote in the 2016 presidential elections, according to a report by Inquirer.net

With just five months left for citizens to enroll their biometrics information with the poll agency, Comelec spokesman James Jimenez posted on Twitter to get celebrities to create awareness for voter registration.

“Dear celebrities on Twitter: Many of your fans won’t be able to vote in 2016 because they don’t have biometrics. Please help us raise awareness,” Jimenez posted in a Twitter message. “And by ‘celebs on Twitter’ I mean everyone with 10 to 10 million followers.”

The Comelec’s Voter Registration Machine, which is comprised of a desktop computer equipped with a digital camera, fingerprint scanner and signature pad, collects various biometric data from voters, including their photograph, fingerprints and signature.

Based on Comelec records, over four million Filipinos could be ineligible to vote in the May 2016 elections if they do not register their biometrics data by October 31, 2015.

The Mandatory Biometrics Registration Act of 2013 states that voters who do not submit for validation before the May 2016 elections will be effectively deactivated from the voters’ list and not be permitted to vote.

Local government officials will help their constituents update their biometrics data, however, but those registrants who visit Comelec offices in person would be helped on a “first come, first served” basis, said Jimenez.

Earlier this year, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) announced it will lease a biometric voter verification system (VVS) for its upcoming 2016 national elections.

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