#OFWVote challenge: Go out and vote
MANILA, Philippines – Can the overseas absentee voters deliver 100% turnout?
There are 1,376,067 registered OAVs for the 2016 presidential elections. A promising start, this figure almost doubled from the 2013 figure of only 737,759 registered voters.
Among them, 1,326,728 are land-based voters, while 49,339 are seafarers. They are part of the 54.4 million registered voters who will be electing the next set of leaders on May 9.
But there lies a bigger challenge: to increase the turnout in this year’s overseas polls.
In 2013, only 15.35% of overseas voters actually cast their ballots, much lower than the national average of 75.72% and the 26% overseas voter turnout in the 2010 presidential elections.
OAVs, described as game changers in this year's election, have one month to vote: from April 9 up to 5 pm (Philippine time), on May 9. Filipinos based in the Philippines can cast their votes only on May 9 itself.
Department of Foreign Affair’s head for overseas voting, Undersecretary Rafael Seguis, said it “is not a stretch to surmise that each overseas Filipino can influence the vote of at least 3 family members.” This is because overseas Filipinos “are considered to be their families’ breadwinners.”
So, here’s a challenge to overseas absentee voters: participate in the 2016 polls and challenge the rest of the OAV community to vote!
Step 1: Know where, when, and how you could vote
In a minute resolution signed by the Commission on Elections in December, it said it will use an automated election system in 30 posts across the world, while another 26 posts will adopt the postal mode of voting, and 26 others will adopt personal voting (which will require personal appearance in the overseas posts).
The two latter modes of voting will remain manual.
Step 2: Vote and post
At your most preferred date and time, cast your vote.
Whether you will be voting through AES or manual system of voting, don't forget to document the process. Snap a photo as proof that you have voted and share it on your social media accounts.
Start within your community. By sharing the photo on your social media accounts, you will be informing and encouraging your network to do the same!
Don't forget to include "#OFWVote" in your post. We will be collating all posts in an album to also encourage the rest of the overseas electorate to participate in the 2016 polls.
Step 3: Challenge your friends and family to vote
The greatest challenge for the OAV community is to make their voices heard by registering a high voter turnout.
The key is to create ripples. To make this happen, try challenging 3 of your friends to take the #OFWVote challenge and vote!
Make it public and tag your friend. Here's a sample caption:
"I was challenged by Rappler to participate in the 2016 challenge. On ________, I successfully accomplished the #OFWVote challenge. Today, I also challenge _________, ________ and _______ to do the same. Go out, vote and post!"
You can also write about your experience on X, Rappler's self-publishing platform.
The OAV community has a month to make their votes count. Are you up for the challenge? – Rappler.com