Flying voters

January 22, 2019

THE continued existence of “flying voters” in various parts of the Philippines, a nation teeming with election-crazy people, remains a major headache of poll authorities and the electorate.

With the help of their army of “flying voters” and “private armies,” political warlords and other unscrupulous but moneyed candidates are sure poll winners, according to political analysts.

That’s why it is certainly heartening to know that the Commission on Elections (Comelec) is pilot testing the Voter Registration Verification System (VRVS) in the May 13 national and local polls.

Even the chairman of the House of Representatives’ committee on suffrage and electoral reforms, Rep. Sherwin Tugna, lauded the poll body’s decision to address the problem of “flying voters.”

He said the new system will introduce a modern fingerprint verification system to replace the traditional printed voters’ lists to help protect the integrity of the election, which is “democracy in action.”

“We are hopeful that through the VRVS, our country will see an end to flying voters due to a more stringent voter verification process,” said Tugna of the party-list Citizens Battle Against Corruption (CIBAC).

In the past, even the dead were able to cast their votes on election day, drawing jeers from the public.

In other instances, “mayroon din namang hindi nakaboto dahil may (nauna ng) bumoto gamit ang kanilang pangalan,” lamented the highly-articulate party-list lawmaker.

Like Tugna and other well-meaning people, we commend the poll body for coming up with measures designed to ensure the holding of free, honest, peaceful and credible elections.

Without doubt, pilot-testing the Voter Registration Verification System on May 13 is a move in the right direction.