DFA: Overseas Filipinos can vote despite ballot delivery delay
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Friday assured all qualified overseas Filipinos that they will be able to vote in the May midterm elections despite the reported delay in the arrival of some mailed ballots.
Aside from personally visiting the Philippine Embassy and Consulates General to cast their vote, DFA said overseas Filipinos can opt to have their ballots mailed to their addresses and mail them back to the diplomatic posts.
Some voters who opted for the mailed ballot option, however, have yet to receive their ballots.
DFA said they have coordinated with the Commission of Elections (Comelec) to address the issue.
“DFA is confident that Comelec will be able to provide the necessary resources to enable an honest, fair, and credible elections overseas,” the DFA said in a statement.
“In the interest of time, the DFA has authorized the concerned Foreign Service Posts to advance the cost of the remaining postage fees in order bridge the funding gap while awaiting the remittance from Comelec,” it added.
DFA urged voters whose ballots were delayed to contact the Embassy or Consulate General where they are registered as voters to check on the status of their ballots.
“The DFA will continue to coordinate with Comelec to fast-track the process. For those who have not yet received their ballots, they are encouraged to get in touch with the Embassy or Consulate General where they registered as voters, or check the websites and social media pages of these diplomatic posts to see if their voting packets were returned to the Embassy or Consulate General.”
“Rest assured that the DFA and its Foreign Service Posts are doing everything they can to ensure that no overseas Filipino, who is qualified to vote overseas, is deprived of the right to vote,” it added.
Meanwhile, DFA continued to encourage overseas Filipinos to cast their votes, adding that voters can also vote during weekends and holidays.
Overseas absentee voting started on April 13, and will end on May 13. /gsg
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