How to Register to Vote for the National Elections

The Commission on Elections (COMELEC) announced earlier this month that it was reopening voter registration on January 4, 2021.

In case you’re interested in exercising your right to vote in the 2022 elections, here’s how you can register as a voter.

What are the qualifications to become a voter?

Before we begin, let’s list down what qualifications you need in order to vote:

  1. At least eighteen (18) years of age on or before May 9, 2022, or the national and local elections;
  2. A resident of the Philippines for at least one (1) year and in the place wherein he/she proposes to vote, for at least six (6) months immediately preceding the May 9, 2022 National and Local Elections; and
  3. Not otherwise disqualified by law.

According to COMELEC, “any person who has not reached the required voting age or period of residence on the day of registration but will possess such qualifications on or before the May 9, 2022 National and Local Elections, may register as a voter. However, the reception of their applications shall commence only on May 10, 2021 (at least one year prior to election day).”

Step 1: Accomplish the Application Form for Registration (AFR)

The first step to register as a voter is to fill out an AFR.

COMELEC now offers iRehistro, where you can accomplish the form digitally. Click this link to access iRehistro.

Select if you’re a local or overseas applicant, choose which type of application you’re going for, then fill out the requested information. Once you’re done, you can set an appointment to submit your form and the biometrics capture. COMELEC says that “those with appointments are given priority over walk-in applicants.”

Those who choose not to set an appointment may submit their form during regular working hours before the end of the registration period.

Print out three copies of the form but do not sign or add your thumbprint. This may only be done before the election officer.

Print the form on an 8″ x 13″ (folio) paper. The form must be printed back to back.

Remember, completing an AFR does not mean you are a registered voter. You will need to personally submit it to the election officer at your local COMELEC office.

Step 2: Submit to your local COMELEC office

To know where your local COMELEC office is, you can check out this directory.

Each barangay has at least one special satellite registration office. According to the COMELEC, “a satellite registration shall be conducted in areas where there are Person with Disabilities (PWDs), Indigenous Cultural Communities (ICCs/IPs), Senior Citizens (SCs) and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).” For inquiries, you can check with your local government unit, or the provincial or regional COMELEC office that has jurisdiction over your city or municipality.

Filing of applications are from Tuesdays to Saturdays, from 8AM to 3PM.

Here are the things you should bring:

  1. Any valid ID and a photocopy, including:
    •  Employee’s identification card (ID), with the signature of the employer or authorized representative;
    • Postal ID ;
    • PWD Discount ID;
    • Student’s ID or library card, signed by the school authority;
    • Senior Citizen’s ID;
    • Driver’s license;
    • NBI clearance;
    •  Passport;
    • SSS/GSIS ID;
    • Integrated Bar of the Philippine (IBP) ID;
    • License issued by the Professional Regulatory Commission (PRC);
    • Certificate of Confirmation issued by the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) in case of members of ICCs or IPs; and
    • Any other valid ID (Community Tax Certificates or cedula and PNP clearance are not honored as valid IDs. If you don’t have any of these, you may be “identified under oath by any registered voter of the precinct where he/ she intends to be registered, or by any of his/her relatives within the fourth civil degree of consanguinity or affinity.”)
  2. Face mask
  3. Face shield
  4. Alcohol or alcohol-based hand sanitizer (at least 70%)
  5. Pen

At the local COMELEC office, you will be asked to fill out the Coronavirus Self Declaration Form. If you answer “yes” to any of the questions, you will be asked to return after 14 days.

After filling that out, they will verify your identity, residence, and status of registration.

Once your identity is verified and you have submitted your forms, your biometrics will then be digitally captured using the Voter Registration Machine (VRM) by an authorized VRM Operator. Your photo and signature will also be captured.

Voter registrationapplication receipt

You will then be given an acknowledgment receipt.

Step 3: Wait

It’s the waiting game at this point. The application will be reviewed by the Election Registration Board (ERB), which meets quarterly. They meet on the third Monday of April, July, October, and January of calendar year. Once approved, the AFR will be included in the Book of Voters (BOV) of the city/municipality/district.

You are now a registered voter!

To verify your registration record, you can check out the Precinct Finder section on the COMELEC website. However, the service is being updated as of this article’s posting.

Voter registration ends on September 30, 2021.


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