The ‘last minute syndrome’
Published by the Visayan Daily Star Publications, Inc.
|NINFA R. LEONARDIA|
Editor-in-Chief & President
NIDA A. BUENAFE
MAJA P. DELY
ANTONIO L. LEONARDIA|
For more than a year now, the Commission on Election has been calling on voters to register themselves in preparation for the elections scheduled in May next year. Over and over, it was announced that the deadline for registration would be on October 31, 2012, and that there will be no extension for those who fail to come to the Comelec offices nationwide to register.
The early start of registration is necessary because we have now adopted a new scheme of voting, that requires a longer time for preparation, with the listing of candidates’ names and potential electors, as well.
The call was not only aimed at those who would be voting for the first time, after reaching the age of eligibility, but also for those who had failed to vote in the past two elections, whose names had already been removed from the official lists. It was also a reminder for those who had changed addresses, or their names, after having married, in the case of women.
It cannot be denied that the time given for those who should register had been more than ample. As the deadline neared, the Comelec had also issued reminder after reminder for those who needed to register not to wait for the last days to avoid, not only the hassles, but also to prevent the possibility of missing the opportunity altogether.
Despite that, however, hundreds, maybe thousands, had still been ignoring such calls and warnings, as shown by the fact that yesterday, hordes of people have been crowding at Comelec offices, trying to beat the deadline. Yesterday, Comelec officials were swamped by such people, who could not understand, or refused to understand that the most the new machines could accommodate are 600 per day, and that number was already been reached by midday.
What is deplorable is that, as noted by observers at the Comelec offices, some of those who went there became abusive with the staff when they could no longer be accommodated for the day. Some matrons, asked why they didn’t come earlier, even had the nerve to say that they didn’t know there was a deadline!
As things are going, it looks as if many supposed eligible voters may miss their chance to vote in the coming elections. Whom can they blame? Only their being afflicted with the so-called “last-minute syndrome”.*