Overseas voter turnout highest in a decade

Paterno Esmaquel II
Comelec Commissioner Arthur Lim says 432,706 overseas Filipinos voted during the OAV from April 9 to May 9

OVERSEAS VOTING. A migrant Filipino joins the overseas absentee voting held in Ottawa, Canada, to elect the Philippines' next president and other national leaders. Photo courtesy of DFA Public Information Services Unit

MANILA, Philippines – It’s the biggest turnout of overseas Filipino voters in a decade.

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Saturday, May 14, said the overseas voter turnout this year is 31.45%.

In a news conference, Comelec Commissioner Arthur Lim said 432,706 overseas Filipinos voted during the OAV from April 9 to May 9.

The total number of registered overseas Filipino voters is 1,376,067.

The voter turnout this year is the highest after 2004, the first year that the Philippines held overseas absentee voting. 

Below is the voter turnout in previous years of overseas absentee voting:

  • 2013 – 16.71%
  • 2010 – 26.96%
  • 2007 – 16.83%
  • 2004 – 64.89%

Lim told reporters on Saturday that all 58 certificates of canvass (COCs) from 82 overseas posts have been sent to the National Board of Canvassers.

He said the 432,706 votes “count a lot” in a tight vice presidential race pitting Camarines Sur 3rd District Representative Leni Robredo and Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr.  

Based on figures provided by Comelec Commissioner Rowena Guanzon, 176,669 overseas Filipino voters chose Marcos while 89,935 voted for Robredo.

“As to how this will affect the results in the vice presidential elections, we will all know that after our Congress shall have canvassed the results,” Lim said.

Foreign Undersecretary Rafael Seguis once described OFW voters as “game-changers” in Philippine politics. – Rappler.com

Paterno Esmaquel II

Paterno R. Esmaquel II, news editor of Rappler, specializes in covering religion and foreign affairs. He obtained his MA Journalism degree from Ateneo and later finished MSc Asian Studies (Religions in Plural Societies) at RSIS, Singapore. For story ideas or feedback, email him at pat.esmaquel@rappler.com.