MANILA, Mar 7: A lawmaker from Cebu is pushing for the early voting of senior citizens and persons with disabilities for the upcoming 2013 midterm elections.
Cebu Representative Gabriel Luis Quisumbing on Monday filed House Bill 5964 to be known as the Early Voting for Persons with Disabilities Act of 2012.
Under the proposed legislation, qualified voters may cast their ballots early in the office of the municipal or city election registrar where they are registered during office hours within one working day before the day of the elections.
"During the 2010 national and local elections, many senior citizens and people with disabilities left their polling places because they cannot endure the long lines and lengthy procedures in order to cast their votes. Hence, they were deprived of the opportunity to exercise the very basic right of suffrage," Quisumbing said.
It was in the May 2010 elections that the first automated polls were implemented by the government. Voters lined up for hours before they could cast their vote since precincts were clustered.
The measure proposes that at least 30 days before the elections, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) shall coordinate with the local government units, National Council on Disability Affairs (NCDA), the Commission on Human Rights (CHR), Department of Health (DOH), and the Department of Local and Interior Government (DILG) in designing systems and assistance to be accorded to senior citizens.
The poll body shall also designate accessible polling places where persons with disabilities may be able to cast their vote, ensuring that such polling places are provided with the necessary mobility, communication, visual and other forms of assistance for concerned voters.