Over 32,000 Pinoys cast votes 5 days into overseas absentee voting
More than 32,000 Filipinos have cast their votes within the first five days of overseas absentee voting.
Data from the Overseas Voting Secretariat of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) show that 32,564 Filipinos from around the world voted from April 9 to 7 a.m. of Wednesday, April 13 (Manila time).
The voters, broken down by region, are as follows:
Middle East and Africa - 14,453
Asia and the Pacific - 13,081
Europe - 4,485
Americas - 345
Meanwhile, the posts with the most number of voters so far are:
1. Hong Kong - 5,155 2. Singapore - 3,686 3. Abu Dhabi - 2,665 4. Dubai - 2,205 5. Doha - 2,038 6. Riyadh - 1,880 7. Jeddah - 1,880 8. Al Khobar - 1,212 9. Manama - 850 10. Berlin - 844
"This is a very good number," said Commissioner Arthur Lim, head of the Commission on Elections' (Comelec) committee on overseas absentee voting.
"I hope that this is a good indication or a good signal that come May 9, 2016, when we shall be canvassing on the overseas polls, we should be able to at least surpass or breach the 50-percent mark," he told reporters Wednesday.
A total of 1,386,087 Filipinosregistered for the OAV for the 2016 elections — a record-high turnout.
"Kung makakuha man lang tayo ng 50 percent—about 600,000—that would make us very happy. Higher than 50 percent, bonus na po 'yun," Lim said.
The poll executive, however, maintained that they are still aiming for the 80-percent target earlier announced.
"That is still our target. That was and remains the target set for us by [DFA] Undersecretary [Rafael] Seguis, who is chairman of the overseas voting secretariat," Lim said.
Should the turnout be lower than 50 percent, Lim said they still should be able to "exceed the 16 percent turn-out in 2013."
In 2010, the last presidential elections, voter turnout for OAV was at 26 percent.
Asked for reasons for the turnout so far, Lim said this is probably due to a tight race between the five presidential candidates.
He noted that some of these candidates went overseas to meet with Filipino voters there.
"This is a presidential election at dikit ang labanan. It's but natural for candidates to give focus not only locally, but also abroad. One million can make a difference in an election... [The tight race] has generated a lot of interest among supporters and candidates," Lim said.
He added that interest has also been cultivated by traditional media and social media.
There is a total of 82 posts for OAV, 30 of which are using the automated election system. The rest of the posts are using manual or postal voting.
The OAV ends at 5 p.m. of May 9, as polling places are scheduled to close here in the Philippines as well. —KBK, GMA News
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