Youth leaders launch drive to educate first-time voters

29 09 2006

Friday, September 29, 2006

TO make sure the youth will be able to participate in next year’s elections, young leaders yesterday relaunched the first time voters (FTV) project.

FTV was started by different youth and student organizations to inform the youth on the ongoing registration for first time voters as well as educate them why they should be actively involved in the 2007 elections.

Ernie Edralin of Akbayan Youth-Cebu said that in 2004, two million first time voters were “disenfranchised” because of insufficient information for new registrants.

“Our numbers will show how crucial we are in the next elections. We would like to ensure that we will not have another case of million of first time voters not having their chance to cast their first vote in 2007,” Edralin said.

Registration for first time voters is on going until Dec. 30. All they have to do is go to the nearest Commission on Election (Comelec) office with a valid identification card.

But Edralin said some Comelec offices have limitations in entertaining new registrants because they only have one data capturing machine and they only entertain 100 new registrants a day.

School tours

Registration is done from Sunday to Thursday only.

The different youth organizations will be touring the different schools and barangays for their campaign where they will speak before the students about the project as well as distribute posters.

In December, they will also be touring in different schools with Professor Randy David, who will talk about the importance of voting and voting wisely.

Millie Joy Guines of the Philippine Normal University, who came to Cebu yesterday for the relaunching of the project, said the campaign does not end in voting in the next election but will also “galvanize the position” of the youth on the issues against traditional politicians and governance.

FTV first became popular in 2000 at the height of the campaign to extend the registration of 4.5 million young voters who failed to exercise their rights because of the lack of information dissemination. (MBG)

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