Comelec may delist around 200,000 voters abroad

Reynaldo Santos Jr

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A total of 238,557 OAV may be removed from the voters' list for their failure to participate in the 2007 and 2010 elections

MANILA, Philippines – Some 200,000 overseas absentee voters (OAV) may not be able to participate in the 2013 elections.

According to Resolution 9567, promulgated by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) this month, a total of 238,557 OAV may be removed from the voters’ list for their failure to participate in the 2007 and 2010 elections.

The law states that voters who don’t vote for two consecutive national elections may be removed from the voters’ list.

Comelec estimates that some 915,000 absentee voters from several countries abroad are registered to vote in the 2013 elections. This is higher that the figures in the 2010 elections, where 589,830 absentee voters were registered.

Most of these voters are concentrated in Singapore and Hongkong, which were allowed to use election machines for voting. Voters from other countries either manually vote in their respective posts, or send their votes via courier mail.

“They have their own reasons for not voting. Some of them are far, you can’t blame them. Some of them are not allowed by their employers to go out and vote. But this time we are giving them a chance,” said Commissioner Lucenito Tagle, head of the Comelec OAV committee.

For now, according to Tagle, the Comelec en banc has decided to temporarily deactivate their  voter registration.

For them to be able to vote next year, they should submit a manifestation of their intent to participate in next year’s national elections on or before December 21.

The manifestation can be submitted either to the voter’s country of jurisdiction, or to the Committee on Overseas Absentee Voting (COAV) office in Manila.

Overseas voters will be allowed to vote from April 13 to May 13 next year. –

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