DAGUPAN CITY –  The Commission on Elections (Comelec) Pangasinan provincial office registered 27,800 new voters in the province from September to December last year.
 
“The number of new voter registrants is low due to the pandemic. The people are afraid to go out. During the first two months of the registration’s resumption in September, there were very few who registered, the number picked up in November to December,” provincial election supervisor lawyer Marino Salas said in an interview on Thursday.
 
Salas said the projected number of voters in the province in 2022 elections is 1.9 million to 1.95 million from the current 1.85 million voting population.
 
“We are hoping that there will be more registrants this year as the deadline is still on September but we encourage Pangasinenses to register earlier to avoid crowding comes the deadline,” he added.
 
Salas said they are not yet conducting off-site registration due to the pandemic but the Comelec offices are open from Mondays to Thursdays from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. and health protocols are set in place.
 
“The 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. time was set for disinfection of the machines we are using and on Fridays, the whole offices are being disinfected and decontaminated,” he said.
 
Salas further said the offices can accommodate up to 100 clients per day with the given protocols and time.
 
“Each barangay has their schedules to the office but walk-in clients are also welcome,” he said.
 
Comelec Pangasinan’s preparations for the elections are in full-swing amid the pandemic, he added. (PNA)