Futility: 10 months to register and be listed, but still late.

I was watching a rerun of Star Trek the other night when I came across the uber-famous Borg catchphrase:

“You will be assimilated. Resistance is futile.”

Futility, now that’s a word that’s quite apt for today’s events. An “exercise in futility” is what some people say about the Comelec’s ongoing voter’s registration process.

If the government spent billions of Pesos to computerize the elections, then how much of it was allocated for improving the voter’s registration process? Isn’t this process supposed to be the foundation of a good electoral system?

The Comelec stated that they won’t extend the registration deadline, because they need time to sort out the registration database and come up with the final voter’s list for their regional offices – time, in the above context, is unfortunately measured in months.

It’s quite ironic that they heavily tout the new computerized election system as being capable of tallying all votes and declaring a winner in a span of just a few hours, yet they need a span of several months before the elections so that they can prepare the final voter’s list.

In hindsight, had a ‘proper’ voter’s registration system been in place, then people wouldn’t have procrastinated or put off registering for a later date – most of whom were either turned off by the extremely long queues or slow process, or turned down Comelec staff because they didn’t meet the voter’s cut-off criteria (a combination of cut-off period or number of registrants/application forms per day). Had a ‘proper’ voter’s registration system been in place, then there wouldn’t be a need for such a long preparation “lead time” between the voter’s registration deadline and the actual election date – ensuring a higher voter-to-population percentage turnout.

At any rate, late is late – no excuses and “pasensya na lang po, ‘no?” Let’s just hope that those who were able to register on time will vote wisely come election time.

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