IN NUMBERS: Registered voters for the May 2019 elections

Janella Paris

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IN NUMBERS: Registered voters for the May 2019 elections
Who will come out to vote in the 2019 midterm elections?

DEMO. A resident tries the vote-counting machines to be used for the 2019 polls. Photo by Boy Zabal

MANILA, Philippines – Commission on Elections (Comelec) spokesperson James Jimenez said in 2018 that the expected number of voters for the 2019 midterm elections could amount to around 60 million. (READ: More than 2.5M register as new voters, exceeding Comelec target)

Comelec data shows that there are 61,843,750 registered voters in the Philippines alone.1,822,173 more are registered to vote from overseas.

Rappler dives into Comelec’s data of registered voters to see who’s voting on May 13.

Gen X, millennials and Gen Z

The following graph shows the percentage of voters by age.

Gen X (Generation X), or those born from the 1960s to the early 1980s, comprise 19,911,867 of the total number of voters, accounting for roughly 32%.

Millennials and Gen Z (Generation Z) or those born in the mid-90s and early 2000s, comprise around 31% of the total vote, or 18,847,230 voters. (READ: First-time voters: ‘As young people, we could change something’)

Not far behind are baby boomers who account for around 28% of the vote. 17,216,364 voters are registered in this age range.

Meanwhile, the remaining 9% of voters are aged 65 and older, comprising 5,868,289 of the over 60 million voters.

More female voters

Females outnumber males by 1,789,844. Out of the over 60 million voters, 31,816,797 are female and 30,026,953, male.

Luzon provinces are vote rich

The three most vote rich regions are all from Luzon. Registered voters from the National Capital Region, Calabarzon, and Central Luzon comprise 11,419,415 of the total number of voters.

The following graph shows the percentage of voters from other regions.


While most vote rich provinces are from Luzon, Cebu, located in Central Visayas, is the province with the most voters after Metro Manila; it has a total of 3,082,621 voters, comprising some 5% of the total vote. Only 3 out of the top 10 most vote-rich provinces are from outside Luzon. (FAST FACTS: What you ought to know about Cebu and elections)

Hover over different areas of the map to see how many voters there are per province.

Middle East Filipinos at least 48% of overseas vote

The above mentioned numbers do not include overseas voters, however, who will vote from various posts around the world. (READ: What you need to know about overseas absentee voters)

Most of the overseas voters hail from the Middle East and Africa, amounting to 887,744. While an overwhelming number of overseas voters come from this region, the majority are based in the Middle East. There are nations in Africa in which there are less than 10 Filipinos registered to vote, like Burkina Faso, Guinea Bissau, and Guinea.

A little less than half of this number are voters based in the Asia Pacific region. 401,390 voters are expected to vote from the same region that the Philippines is in.

In North and South America, meanwhile, 345,417 are registered to vote. Lastly, 187,624 Filipinos are expected to vote in Europe.

Voter turnout

As past elections not just in the Philippines but around the world would show, voter registration does not guarantee that registered voters will show up at their designated precincts. (READ: Voter turnout: How the PH compares to the world)

The average voter turnout of the last 3 elections is at 78%, with 2016 having 84%, 2013 with 77%, and 2010, 74%. 2016 also marked the highest overseas Filipino voter turnout in at least a decade.

A 2014 study titled, “Voter Turnout in Democratizing Southeast Asia: A Comparative Analysis of Electoral Participation in Five Countries,” has shown that various reasons could affect voter turnout.

Assessing 5 democracies in Southeast Asia, including the Philippines, writers Scot Schraufnagel, Michael Buehler, and Maureen Lowry-Fritz recognized that factors like economic development, confidence in political institutions, and potential electoral manipulation may affect voter turnout.

Of these factors, the study showed that the most indicative factor for voter turnout in the Philippines was economic development or poverty incidence, as at least shown by elections from 1998 to 2011.

“The Philippines…has a lower performing economy and a higher voter turnout level, suggesting that economic hardships may be driving people to the polls,” the study said.

The study does not account for other emerging factors like the rise of social media or the role of traditional media in campaigns, however.

The same study said that “voter turnout is often used as a yardstick for democratic ‘progress’ in old and new democracies as well as in democracies ‘in the making.’”

The Philippines ranked 53rd in the 2018 Democracy Index released by The Economist’s Intelligence Unit. It dropped two spots from 51st in 2017. –

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