Press Release
January 5, 2010

Gordon urges Chiz to endorse early voting bill

Senator Richard J. Gordon has called on fellow senator Francis Escudero to sponsor on the floor, the early voting measure that he proposed so it could be enacted into law in time for implementation in the presidential elections set for May this year.

Gordon, father of election modernization in the Philippines and author of Republic Act 9369 (RA 9369) or the amended Automated Elections System Law, said the passage of the early voting bill will pave the way for advanced elections in areas of concern, particularly in the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

"I want to make sure na maipasa ang early voting bill. Nakikiusap ako kay Chiz Escudero na sana ilabas na niya yung bill na finile ko na dapat magkaroon ng early elections in certain areas in the country that are dangerous like ARMM. O Pakikiusapan ko si Chiz kung pwede ako na lang ang mag-sponsor para madinig sa Senado," he said.

"Kailangan lang mag-file dahil nakalagay sa Konstitusyon na nasa Kongreso yan kung kailangang magkaroon ng early elections," he explained to reporters at the Kapihan sa Manila Hotel.

In filing Senate Bill 2972 or the Early Voting in National Elections, Gordon said that holding advanced elections would allow the Commission on Elections (Comelec), police and military forces, and election watchdogs to concentrate their efforts in areas that need special attention, like in Maguindanao, which was placed under Martial Law after the massacre that killed 57 people.

The senator noted that there are 181 areas, including Maguindanao, tagged as consistent election hotspots in the country

He also stressed that expanding voting period to more than one day would also increase voter participation and reduce the risk of overworked poll workers making mistakes, and in the scenario of automated elections, the risk of having broken automated election machines.

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