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MANILA, Philippines -- A lawmaker has filed a bill that would make participation in the electoral process easier for senior citizens by allowing them to vote early.
House Bill 5963, or the “Early Voting for Senior Citizens Act of 2012,” filed by Representative Gabriel Luis Quisumbing of Cebu’s 6th district, would let qualified senior citizens cast their votes at the municipal or city election office where they are registered one working day before actual Election Day.
Quisumbing drew on Article 5, Section 1 of the Constitution that guarantees the right of suffrage for everyone not disqualified by law.
He noted that during the 2010 national elections, television news programs showed footage of senior citizens who had to leave precincts before they could vote because of the rigors of waiting in long lines and the lengthy procedure they had to go through.
“Senior citizens were deprived of the opportunity to exercise the very right of suffrage,” he said.
Under Quisumbing’s bill, the Commission on Elections should keep a record of senior registered voters 30 days before an election.
The poll body should also coordinate with local government units and the Departments of Health and of Interior and Local Government to design systems for elderly voters, including ensuring accessible polling places and adequate assistance.