OAVs flock to polling centers abroad
MANILA, Philippines - Registered Filipino voters throughout the world have begun casting their ballots for the midterm elections. According to Comelec records, there are currently 737,759 registered overseas voters, and up to 60% of them are expected to vote.
Overseas Absentee Voters (OAVs) are already lining up in their respective polling places in different countries to vote for their chosen candidates.
Comelec regulations put at risk the voting eligibility of OAVs who failed to vote in two consecutive elections.
The recently passed Comelec Res. No. 9653 now gives those who have not voted a chance to participate in this year's elections. The resolution allowed 25% of those who are supposed to be delisted to now vote.
Filipino seafarers usually do not get the chance to vote, with two-thirds of registered seafarer voters failing to vote in both 2007 and 2010. Similarly, nearly 40% of Africa/Middle East-based overseas voters did not cast their ballots.
In Singapore, not one failed to cast a ballot in 2007 and 2010, while nearly half of those in Hong Kong – the country with the largest number of overseas voters – may find themselves ineligible after they failed to vote in the past two elections.
Overseas voters have several options available to them. Seven overseas posts – Hong Kong, Riyadh, Dubai, Jeddah, Singapore, Kuwait, Abu Dhabi – will use automated voting machines, while other regions are implementing a new “modified postal” voting scheme to accommodate those living in far flung areas.
Here are some tweets from OAVs who voted early:
OAV voters you have until 6:59 AM to cast your ballot tomorrow, Monday morning:)campl.us/oWVe— DON TAGALA (@dontagala) May 12, 2013
I already voted here in Ecuador via OAV. And I voted for @kabataanpl. I encourage my fellow Filipino youth to do likewise.— Martin Navarrette (@jmpnavarrette) May 10, 2013
Edward Basse is a Rappler intern.
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