Everything You Need to Know If You're Registering to Vote at the Last Minute

Deadline of registration is on September 30.

voters' registration
ILLUSTRATION War Espejo

(SPOT.ph) The upcoming national elections is an opportunity for Filipinos to exercise their right to choose the next set of leaders. Most people consider this upcoming elections a gamechanger, especially with everything that's been happening: the seemingly unending pandemic, alleged corruption in various government offices, territorial dispute in the West Philippine Sea, and effects of climate crisis on red alert. With the Commission on Elections firm on their decision to keep the September 30 deadline for voters' registration, there are only a few weeks left to complete the process.

If you haven't registered yet, here's everything you need to know about voters' registration:

When Can You Register

The Commission on Elections (COMELEC) en banc approved on September 1 that voters' registration can resume in areas under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) starting on September 6, Monday. Operation hours run from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., from Monday to Saturday. In-mall registration is allowed.

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But if you live in provinces under general community quarantine (GCQ) or modified general community quarantine (MGCQ), voter registration hours run from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. from Monday to Friday, and from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and holidays.

voters registration
PHOTO BY Facebook/Comelec

Where Can You Register

There are satellite registration sites in all Philippine cities and municipalities, ranging from barangay halls to covered courts. You can visit COMELEC's Facebook page for a complete list per region.

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Robinsons Malls, Ayala Malls, and SM Supermalls also partnered with COMELEC to provide more accessible registration booths for Filipinos all over the country.

Also read: These Malls Are Open for Your Last-Minute Voters' Registration

What to Do If You're a First-Time Voter

  1. Visit COMELEC's iRehistro website and choose "Online Application Form for Voter Registration for Local Applicants."
  2. Select your type of application, which is "Registration."
  3. Fill out the rest of the online form (CEF-1), especially the mandatory fields.
  4. Pick a date and time slot for an appointment in the local COMELEC office or satellite sites in your current city/municipality.
  5. Print your CEF-1 on a long bond paper (8.5" x 13"), back-to-back. Do not sign or affix your thumbmark on the application forms just yet since you have to do this in the presence of the Election Officer when you go to your local COMELEC office.
  6. On the day of your appointment, don't forget to bring the physical copy of your filled out forms from your online registration and a valid ID.

Remember: Accomplishing the online form does not automatically make you a registered voter. You still have to personally appear at your local COMELEC office.

Also read: Here's How to Register to Vote Amid the Pandemic

What to Do If You've Transferred Locations

In case you're not too keen on buying a plane ticket home, hopping on a plane or ship for a day-long trip, or going on a long drive on May 9, 2022 for the national elections, you can transfer your voters' registration to your current city or municipality.

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  1. Log on to COMELEC's iRehistro website and choose "Online Application Form for Voter Registration for Local Applicants."
  2. Select your type of application, which is "Transfer of Registration Record."
  3. After ticking off "Transfer of Registration Record," you have to select if you want to transfer within the same municipality/city (a.k.a. you're now living in another barangay with a different voting precinct) or transfer from another municipality/city.
  4. Just fill out the rest of the online form (CEF-1), which is user-friendly and self-explanatory.
  5. Pick a date and time slot for an appointment in the local COMELEC office or satellite sites in your current city/municipality. You don't even have to visit your old hometown.
  6. Print your CEF-1 on a long bond paper (8.5" x 13"), back-to-back. Do not sign or affix your thumbmark on the application forms just yet since you have to do this in the presence of the Election Officer when you go to your local COMELEC office.
  7. On the day of your appointment, don't forget to bring the physical copy of your filled out forms from your online registration and a valid ID.

Also read: Transferring Your Voter's Registration to Your Current City Is Easier Than You Think

What to Do If You Need to Reactivate Your Voters' Registration

Your voters' registration records can be deactivated for various reasons: imprisonment for at least one year, conviction of crime on government disloyalty, declared insane or incompetent, loss of Filipino citizenship, and exclusion by court order. The most common reason is failure to vote in two successive preceding elections. Take note that barangay elections are included in the count, so if you missed the midterm elections in 2019 and barangay elections in 2018, you'd have to reactivate your voters' registration.

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Voters can call COMELEC's Information Technology Department at 8527-9365 or 8526-7769 if registration has been deactivated. You can also inquire with the Office of the Election Officer in your district, city, or municipality; or log on to COMELEC's Precinct Finder on their website as soon as its back online.

If you're NOT a senior citizen, PWD, or PDL, here are the steps to reactivate your voters' registration:

  1. Head to the COMELEC's iRehistro website and choose "Online Application Form for Voter Registration for Local Applicants."
  2. Select your type of application, which is "Reactivation of Your Registration Record."
  3. Fill out the rest of the online CEF-1 form.
  4. Select the reason why your registration record was deactivated from the drop-down menu.
  5. Pick a date and time slot for an appointment in the local Commission on Elections' (COMELEC) office or satellite sites.
  6. Print your CEF-1 on a long bond paper (8.5" x 13"), back-to-back. Do not sign or affix your thumbmark on the application forms just yet since you have to do this in the presence of the Election Officer when you go to your local COMELEC office.
  7. On the day of your appointment, don't forget to bring the physical copy of your filled out forms from your online registration and a valid ID.

If you're a senior citizen, PWD, or PDL, here are the steps to reactivate your voters' registration online:

  1. Fill out and print the CEF-1 form in the COMELEC website.
  2. Scan the documentary requirements, including the CEF-1 form, valid ID, and supplementary data form for senior citizens, persons with disabilities, and persons deprived of liberty.
  3. E-mail the documents to the official e-mail address of your city's or municipality's Election Officer. These are indicated in the COMELEC website.
  4. Wait for confirmation through your provided mobile number or e-mail address.
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Also read: How to Know If You Need to Reactivate Your Voter's Registration

What Are Considered as Valid IDs

  • Postal ID
  • PWD discount ID
  • Student's ID or library card
  • Senior Citizen's ID
  • Driver's license
  • NBI clearance
  • Passport
  • SSS/GSIS ID
  • Employee's ID/company ID with the signature of the employer or authorized representative
  • Integrated Bar of the Philippines ID
  • Professional Regulatory Commission license
  • Certificate of Confirmation issued by the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples

For more information, visit COMELEC's iRehistro website or COMELEC's Facebook page.

UPDATED (September 1, 12:50 p.m.): This article has been updated to include the approval of COMELEC en banc to resume voters' registration in areas under MECQ.

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