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US-based Filipino voters trickle in at Philippine Consulate


LOS ANGELES — Overseas absentee voting (OAV) at the Philippine Consulate General here got off to a slow but smooth start  (Sunday in Manila) as consular officials said they were anticipating the bulk of the votes to come in – by mail or delivered to the consulate office in person – during the last two weeks of the voting period.

There are 31,348 registered voters within the consulate jurisdiction covering Southern California, Southern Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. The Commission on Elections (Comelec) mailed the ballots, along with voting instructions, to their registered addresses.

As of Sunday, the start of the month-long voting period for overseas absentee voting, the consulate has received 67 mailed-in ballots from early voters. A few showed up to hand in their votes. “We expect to receive most of the ballots during the last two weeks before May 13,” said Consul General Hellen Barber-De la Vega. “Based on our experience, many of our kababayans will vote closer to the deadline.”

But Los Angeles resident Mae Espiritu is not waiting until the last minute. She filled out and mailed her ballot on Sunday. “I feel that it’s my responsibility as an overseas Filipino to help make sure that only the best candidates get elected,” said Espiritu, 22. “I’m doing this not just for myself but for my fellow Filipinos back home.”

Rey Ganon, who has dual citizenship, said he has already received his ballot from the Comelec, but was not yet ready to vote on Sunday. “I’ve already picked my first six senators, but I’m still doing more research to help me pick the other six,” he said.

Barber-De la Vega, who noted that the number of registered voters nearly doubled for this election, expressed hope the number of actual voters would similarly increase.

She reminded voters that those who failed to cast their votes in two previous elections can reactivate their registrations by showing up at the consulate office within the voting period. The Comelec reversed its earlier ruling deactivating some 237,000 OAVs for failing to vote in the last two elections.

The list of overseas voters who failed to vote in two consecutive elections can be found in the Comelec and Department of Foreign Affairs websites. The list is also posted at the consulate.

Out of the more than 700,000 registered OAVs, 125,604 are in the Americas, according to the Comelec.

Polling precincts in Philippine embassies and consulate offices serving large numbers of absentee voters have been equipped with precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines. These precincts are in Hong Kong, Riyadh and Jeddah in Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi, Singapore, Dubai and Kuwait.

The overseas voting period started on Apr. 14, 2013, at 9 a.m. Pacific Standard Time (PST) and will end on May 13 at 4 a.m. PST.

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Tags: 2013 midterm elections , Elections , Global Nation , Hellen Barber-De la Vega , OAV , Overseas Absentee Voting , Overseas Workers , Philippine Consulate General , Philippines , senatorial elections , United States , US-based Filipinos

  • sanjuan683

    Hindi dapat sinasali sa election yan nasa labas ng bansa dahil hindi na nila alam ang issue. Pumunta sila dun para magtrabaho at wala sila panahon makipaglokohan sa mga pulitiko.

    • Marx Louis Wang

      Sisihin mo yung Comelec, sila ang may gusto niyan. Tantamount to cheating ang boto sa labas IMO.

      • $26149191

        The most clean vote are from abroad than inland which 80% are manipulated with vote buying and stupid advertising.

    • superpilipinas

      ang mga nasa ibang bansa, alam nila ang iba’t ibang idea at nakukumpara sa pilipinas. hindi lang mga kinagisnang palpak na paraan ng mga corrupt na politiko sa pilipinas.

      ang problema, palpak pa rin ang OAV registration and voting ng Comelec. di pa nila kayang gawing secure online. paano yung mga taong nakatira 200 miles kalayo sa pinakamalamit na Philippine Consulate sa mga malaking cities sa US tulad ng Dallas, Detroit, Seatle, etc.

    • $26149191

      You’re wrong my friend. They’re more updated than you. Their hard earned money make Philippine economy alive. They went abroad because lack of opportunities in Philippines. 60% of Philippine dollar stocks are from abroad that’s how Philippine workers contributes to Philippine economy. Buying power are 30% from abroads recipients. Be educated not be dull and stupid.

    • http://www.facebook.com/bilibid.salvador Bilibid Salvador

      cguro naman sa modern technology na meron tayo ngayon mas updated na ang mga OFW sa mga nangyayari sa Pilipinas.

  • superpilipinas

    kalokohan. paano yung marami na nakatira 200 miles or more away from the US consulate. sigurado hindi sila boboto kahit gusto nila.

    dapat ang OAV registration at voting magawa nilang secure online. Kung kayang gawin ng bangko, bakit hindi kaya ng Comelec? simple lang naman dahil nariyan ang philippine passport to countercheck with DFA at marami nang computer na may fingerprint scanning.

    ang pinakadahilan kasi niyan, ayaw ng gubyerno ang OAV. karamihan ng overseas voters, dahil educated na sila sa mga pangyayari sa ibang bansa, naikukumpara nila sa pilipinas. hindi na mauuto ng mga nakaupo sa gubyerno ng pilipinas. di na uubra ang kalokohan at kapalpakan nila.

  • BIGButo

    We must vote out all the bayan communist and other leftis out of office and put good people that are not corrupt and accepting bribes for favors!

  • Patikotiko

    @sanjuan, hwag nmn Ganyan. Every year umuuwi Kim at everyday ay watching tvpatrol at balitang America kya we are updated din. Habang citizen kami ng Pinas ay may karapatan kaming bumoto.

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