Overseas Absentee Voting starts Saturday

April 13, 2013 1:57 am 

MANILA, April 12 — Filipinos working and living abroad will be the first ones to cast their votes as the month-long overseas absentee voting (OAV) will start on Saturday, April 13.

With this, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) urged the 737,759 registered voters in the Asia Pacific, Americas, Europe and Middle East to participate in the electoral exercises.

Comelec – Committee on Overseas Absentee Voting (COAV) Chairman Commissioner Lucenito Tagle said Filipino voters abroad would only be voting for the senatorial and party-list posts.

Based on COAV figures, the Middle East has the most number of registered voters at 281,372, followed by Asia Pacific with 228,309, Americas with 125,604 and Europe with 75,666.

There are 26,808 seafarers who are also registered voters.

The OAV has different modes of voting, automated, modified postal, postal and personal.

However, only seven areas namely: Hongkong; Singapore; Riyadh, and Jeddah, Kuwait in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA); Abu Dhabi and Dubai in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), where automated polls will be conducted using the Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines.

However, voting in Riyadh will commence on April 15 or 16 due to the delay in the release of the ballot boxes in that country.

The areas to be automated were selected based on the huge concentration of Filipinos.

Records show that there are 83,118 voters in Hong Kong; 50,063 in Singapore; 55,842 in Dubai; 30,328 in Jeddah; 30,468 in Kuwait; 53,396 in Riyadh; and 21,645 in Abu Dhabi.

The regions that will utilize the personal, modified postal and postal method of voting are as follows: Asia Pacific, Modified Postal – 12, Postal – 23, Personal – 13; Americas, Postal – 52, Personal – 2; Europe, Modified Postal – 9, Postal – 43, Personal – 5 and Middle East and Africas, Modified Postal – 11, Postal – 40 Personal – 10.

Tagle said that they are expecting the voters’ turn out to be higher this year compared to the 2010 polls at 150,000.

On the other hand, Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes will be in the former British colony on Saturday to personally oversee the start of voting there. (PNA)

FPV/FGP/UTB

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