Press Release
February 2, 2010

Gordon hails Senate approval of 'early voting' bill

Senator Richard J. Gordon lauds the Senate's approval of the "early voting" bill, adding that he is optimistic that it would be ratified before Congress adjourns this week.

Gordon, principal author of SBN 3570 or the Early Voting Act of 2010, said that with the bill already passing on third reading in the Senate, the measure that would allow certain sectors and residents of certain areas to vote in advance is now one-step closer to being enacted into law.

"I am glad that that the early voting bill was approved in the Senate on third and final reading. It will be immediately forwarded to the bicameral committee where I expect its smooth passage," said Gordon, father of modernization in the Philippines.

"Credible, honest and clean elections convey the voice of the people. Once the measure is passed into law and implemented, we can get the true voice of the people since a good number of voters will no longer be disenfranchised for lack of time to vote on the day of the elections," he added.

Under Gordon's bill, poll workers, campaign workers, members of the media, law enforcers and others who, due to their duties and personal circumstances, do not have time to vote in previous elections, will be allowed to cast their votes ahead of the elections day.

Residents of certain municipalities, cities, and provinces - to be determined beforehand by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) - will also be allowed to vote in advance. Inmates who have no final conviction can also vote.

Areas eligible for early elections include locations with histories of election violence or terrorism and similar incidents that would endanger the holding of free, orderly, honest, peaceful and credible elections.

The total number of registered votes in these same locations should not exceed 25 percent of the total number of registered voters nationwide.

The Comelec, after due notice and hearing, may announce the areas covered by early elections not later than March 10, 2010 for the May 10, 2010 elections and 150 days before the regular election day in succeeding polls.

Though early voting will be conducted not earlier than one month but not later than 10 days before the date of the elections, Gordon said results of early voting will not be disclosed and will be canvassed together with the result of the regular voting.

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