THE Legal Network for Truthful Elections (Lente) called on Philippine posts and embassies on Thursday, April 4, to enhance their information drive on the overseas absentee voting (OAV) for the May midterm polls.
In a Facebook post, Lente said it is imperative for concerned Philippine officials to undertake last minute information drives to properly educate Filipinos abroad on the OAV, particularly on the mode of voting they will be using in their respective areas.
“As overseas voting is about to start. We would like to request that our embassies all over the world work doubly hard to reach out and communicate to our overseas voters,” said Lente.
It said the information drive would help address possible reservations of Filipino overseas in casting their votes.
“Such communication would greatly appease the fears and apprehensions of our voters as to the integrity of the process. This way also, disinformation would be corrected right away,” said Lente.
The group issued the call after receiving information that several Filipinos in Singapore are concerned that their votes will not be counted since they are not the ones that will insert their accomplished ballots into the vote counting machines.
Instead, they were told to just mail their ballots to the Philippine embassy there and that embassy personnel would be the ones inserting their ballots.
“Such concern was brought about by the lack of communication to them of the change in their mode of voting,” said Lente.
According to the Commission on Elections (Comelec) Minute Resolution 18-1124, a total of 41 out of the 83 countries/posts will be using the vote counting machines (VCM) under the OAV.
Posts set to use the automated election system (AES) are Agana, Calgary, Chicago, Honolulu, Los Angeles, New York, Ottawa, San Francisco, Toronto, Vancouver, Washington, Brunei, Canberra, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Macau, Kaohsiung, Taichung, Taipei, Osaka, Seoul, Singapore, Sydney, Tokyo, and Wellington.
Also using the VCMs are the posts in Athens, London, Madrid, Milan, Rome, Abu Dhabi, Beirut, Doha, Dubai, Jeddah, Kuwait, Manama, Muscat, Al-Khobar, Riyadh, and Tel Aviv.
Meanwhile, Filipinos abroad within the jurisdictions of 42 countries/posts shall be using the manual system of voting, which is either postal or personal voting.
Postal voting will be used in 29 posts, namely, Brasilia, Buenos Aires, Mexico, Santiago, Bangkok, Beijing, Chongqing, Guangzhou, Hanoi, Islamabad, Port Moresby, Yangon, Ankara, Berlin, Berne, Brussels, Budapest, Geneva, Lisbon, Moscow, Oslo, Paris, Prague, The Hague, Vienna, Warsaw, Abuja, Cairo, and Pretoria.
Personal voting, meanwhile, will be tapped in 13 posts, specifically in Dhaka, Dili, Jakarta, Manado, New Delhi, Phnom Penh, Shanghai, Vientiane, Xiamen, Vatican, Amman, Nairobi, and Tehran.
The OAV period will be running from April 13 to May 13. (HDT/SunStar Philippines)