MANILA—Overseas absentee voting (OAV) kicked off Saturday for more than 1.8 million registered Filipino voters living or working abroad.
In Hong Kong, where there are 87,441 registered voters, Philippine Consul General Antonio Morales said the first day of voting went off without a hitch.
“Things have been going on smoothly, the machines are functioning quite well, things are turning out well for the moment so far,” Morales told ANC.
He expects 50 to 60 percent turnout for the midterm elections, which he considered a good number.
Meanwhile, at least 200 people went to the Philippine Embassy in Kuwait in the morning to cast ballots.
Philippine Charge d’ Affaires Mohd Noordin Pendosina Lomondot is also expecting a high turnout from more than 60,000 registered voters in Kuwait.
“Ine-expect namin na mas marami pa (ang boboto) dahil sa aming pangangampanya sa lahat ng mga pinagpupuntahan ng mga Pilipino,” the official said. “So umepekto ito, marami na talagang pumupunta ngayon.”
(We expect many voters will cast their ballots because we actively campaigned at Filipinos’ places of convergence. It was effective. Many people are coming now.)
A group of overseas Filipino voters (OFWs) suggested an option to vote via Internet to attract more people to participate in the elections.
“OFWs are clamoring or appealing na next election, sana even by online, online na lang ang election namin kasi nagawa naman ’yan sa ibang bansa and I think nagkaroon ng experimental about it eh,” said Dr. Chie Umandap, chairman of Advocates and Keepers Organization of OFWs Inc.
(OFWs are clamoring or appealing that next election, hopefully we can do it online because that has been done in other countries and I think there has been an experiment about it.)
Filipinos overseas may cast their votes at Philippine embassies, consulates, and foreign posts or by mail until May 13, election day in the Philippines.
No overseas voting would be held in Damascus, Tripoli and Baghdad due to “prevailing local conditions,” according to the Commission on Elections.