Comelec targets more than 16% overseas voter turnout
MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) is targeting above 16 percent overseas voter turnout, an official said on Monday.
Elaiza Sabile-David, director in charge for the overseas voting, said that historically, overseas voter turnout has always been low.
She disclosed that during the 2013 midterm elections, overseas turnout was only at 16 percent. However, the turnout for the presidential elections was 31 percent.
“Tuwing midterm, bumababa po ang turnout kasi siguro mas interested ang taong bumoto kapag presidential,” David told reporters in a press briefing.
(Voter turnout declines during midterm elections because people are more interested in voting during presidential elections.)
“Isa sa mga problema na nakita namin yung kulang na impormasyon na nakakarating sa kanila. So para ma-address rin yung sinasabing problema kung bakit mababa ang turnout at kakaonti, dapat ang pagbibigay ng impormasyon sa kanila, announcements, notices, pati yung pagpapakilala sa kandidato ay malaking bagay iyon para ma-encourage silang bumoto,” she added.
(One of the problems is the lack of information for voters. So the way to address the low voter turnout is to provide more information, announcements, and notices to voters. Candidates should also introduce themselves. That would be a big way to encourage people to vote.)
According to David, election officers are also reaching out to the families of overseas Filipino workers here in the Philippine to participate in a voter’s education program.
This is because overseas voters often rely on their families in the country for information about candidates running in the elections.
David said there are 1,822,173 registered voters overseas, mostly from the Middle East and Africa.
Overseas voting will start on April 13 (host time) and will run until May 13 (local time). /ee
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