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Early voting for Filipino seniors pushed
Rep. Gabriel Luis Quisumbing of Cebu authored House Bill 4545 and House Bill 4546, which are now pending in the House Committee on Suffrage and Electoral Reforms.
Quisumbing recalled that during the 2013 national elections, media reports showed footages of senior citizens, as well as persons with disabilities, leaving polling centers because their physical conditions cannot endure the long lines and lengthy procedure they had to undergo in order to cast their votes.
"Because of various difficult situations encountered by our senior citizens and those with disabilities, they were deprived of the opportunity to exercise their very basic right of suffrage," the lawmaker stressed.
Quisumbing pointed out that suffrage is the lifeblood of a democratic society and given life by the Constitution.
Article 5, Section 1 of the fundamental law provides: "Suffrage may be exercised by all citizens of the Philippines not otherwise disqualified by law, who are at least eighteen years of age, and who shall have resided in the Philippines for at least one year and in the place where they propose to vote for at least six months immediately preceding the election. No literacy, property, or other substantive requirement shall be imposed on the exercise of suffrage."
Likewise, the measure provides that those qualified to vote early may cast his/her ballot in the Office of the Municipal/City Election Registrar where he/she is registered during office hours within one (1) working day before the day of election. He/she will be allowed to vote for as many positions available, as any other qualified voter.