By Leslie Ann Aquino
With only a few days left before the start of the overseas absentee voting, the Legal Network for Truthful Elections (LENTE) has called on Philippine posts and embassies to intensify their information drive on OAV to address the fears of Filipinos abroad.
“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,” LENTE said in a Facebook post.
“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,” the group said.
According to the poll watchdog group, overseas absentee voters in Singapore were afraid 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 instructed to just mail their ballots to the embassy and an embassy official would insert the ballots for them,” Lente said.
Such concern, the group said was brought about by the lack of communication to them of the change in their mode of voting.
Based on Commission on Elections (Comelec) Minute Resolution No. 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 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, Syndey, Tokyo, Wellington,mAthens, London, Madrid, Milan, Rome, Abu Dhabi, Beirut, Doha, Dubai, Jeddah, Kuwait, Manama, Muscat, Al-Khobar, Riyadh, and Tel Aviv.
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 will be used in 13 posts, in Dhaka, Dili, Jakarta, Manado, New Delhi, Phnom Penh, Shanghai, Vientiane, Xiamen, Vatican, Amman, Nairobi, and Tehran.
Voting for overseas voters will begin on April 13 to May 13.