Automated Elections for OFW Voters from Hong Kong, Singapore, UAE

james-jimenexCasting ballots for the next elections becomes more time consuming than other elections held in the country. That’s because voters need to fill up national posts from the President, Vice President, members of the Senate to local posts which include Mayor, Vice Mayor, local councilors and members of the Congress. That’s the same experience Filipinos overseas will have to expect as well.

With the introduction of automated election as mandated by Republic Act No. 9369 (also known as the amended Computerization Act of 2007), and barring any logistical obstacles, time spent on fulfilling the right to vote becomes much shorter.

Filipino voters in Hong Kong, Singapore and parts of the United Arab Emirates along with other countries with large Filipino populations will cast their ballots in automated elections next year, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) said recently.

James Jimenez, Comelec spokesman (photo), said voters in these countries can go to the Philippine consular offices on election day.

“There would be automated election system (abroad) but only in areas where there are a lot of Filipinos,” he said.

In the past elections, overseas Filipinos would be mailed their individual ballots with general instructions, and they can mail the filled-up ballots to consular offices. The ballots will be kept by the Department of Foreign Affairs until these are counted and tallied on election day.

As of Oct. 14, some 522,215 absentee voters have registered for next year’s elections. Hong Kong leads the total number of overseas Filipinos registered to vote for next year’s elections.