Drilon pushes online voting for OFWs in 2016 polls

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Friday, August 8, 2014


SOME 10 to 12 million overseas Filipinos working or residing in other countries are urged to participate in the 2016 Presidential Elections through the use of the internet to register and vote without leaving their jobsites or residences abroad.

Ilonggo Senate President Franklin Drilon bared this while in Iloilo last week by urging the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to adopt all the necessary technologies to empower the overseas Filipinos such as the immigrants, seafarers and Filipino students abroad qualified to vote.

Complaints rose from OFW groups travelling far to overseas absentee voting centers mostly based in Philippine embassies and consulates. They said this discouraged them from participating in electing the country’s leaders in the past.

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Drilon pointed out that technological advances must be utilized and the Comelec must make it easier for the OFWs to participate in the elections.

The Senate President, principal author of Republic Act 9189 as amended, said that online absentee registration and voting is already practiced in about 20 countries, including the US, France, Germany, Italy and Australia.

The present modes of registration and voting of OFWs through mail or personal appearance at the Philippine embassies or consulates abroad limit overseas voter registration and actual voting. This resulted to low turnout of voters in the past elections, Drilon added. (LCP)

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