ILOILO City – The number of registered voters in Western Visayas (Region 6) reached 4,808,842, data from the Commission on Elections (Comelec) showed.
The poll body, however, does not see a 100 percent turnout of voters during the May 13 midterm elections.
Citing the region’s “historical data”, Director Jose Nick Mendros said the voter turnout may just be between 80 percent to 85 percent.
“For this midterm elections, the enthusiasm of voters may not be the same as that for the presidential elections,” said Mendros.
The midterm elections are for a new set of senators, congressmen, governors, vice governors, mayors, vice mayors, and members of provincial, city and municipal sanggunian bodies.
Presidential elections have a higher voter turnout, said Mendros.
In the May 2018 barangay elections, he added, the voter turnout was a low 70 percent.
Other possible reasons for the low voter turnout this May are voters getting sick or being busy with work here or abroad, and even death, said Mendros.
Here is the breakdown of the number of registered voters in Region 6:
* Negros Occidental – 1,889,200
* Iloilo – 1,525,168
* Capiz – 513,329
* Aklan – 390,360
* Antique – 371,244
* Guimaras – 119,541.
Western Visayas has 3,554 voting centers scattered in 4,051 barangays or 133 municipalities / cities, said Mendros.
He urged registered voters to exercise their right to vote. He assured their safety, citing Comelec’s security preparations with the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines.
“Here is the challenge for Comelec. Our obligation is not only to conduct elections. It is also our obligation to create an atmosphere where voters are not afraid to go out and vote. Kasi kung may mga hindrances dyan sabihin nila ‘Ayaw kong pumunta doon baka mamatay ako,’” said Mendros.
In line with this, Comelec is conducting “vote counting machine roadshows.”
The midterm elections will be automated.
“Sa vote counting machine roadshows we demonstrate to voters how we operate the machines. This is how it works. This is how you fill up your ballots, this is very important,” said Mendros.
Comelec Region 6 has four voting counting machines for the roadshows./PN