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Name change holds up poll tally

26 April 2016

What’s in a name? A bit of trouble, as one voter realized last Sunday, Apr 24.
Aling Carmen
Old timer Carmencita D. Han caused the tallying of the votes to be delayed by an hour after the scheduled closure at 5pm, all because she had used a different name when she registered.
Aling Carmen arrived at Bayanihan Center where the overseas voting is being held at about 4:30 pm, after taking a circuitous two-hour trip by bus, train and taxi from her home in Tsz Wan Shan. Then she took 15 minutes to limp her way up to the secretariat because of her arthritic legs.
At the information desk, her name could not be verified because the name on her Hong Kong ID did not appear in the list of voters. She did, however, present a passport which bore the name she had used to register an as overseas voter.
“I registered as Carmencita D. Bautista, but I remarried about six years after my husband died in 1995,” she said.
She related she married a Korean trader surnamed Han, and decided to get a new HK ID card using his surname.
She said she last went to the polls in 2010, when she voted for incumbent President, Benigno S. Aquino III.
What encouraged her to travel all the way from Tsz Wan Shan to vote? She said she wanted her candidate to win and even placed a bet on him.
She is hoping the government will give farmers more help, provide children better education, and the country is rid of rape, drugs, and killings.
“Kung sinong gusto natin, yung nakikita nating may ginagagawa para sa bayan,” Aling Carmen said.
After checking with the Commission on Elections which gave the all-clear, Consulate staff helped Aling Carmen secure a ballot and feed it into the vote-counting machine.
Aling Carmen came to Hong Kong in the 1960s with her first husband, Ruben, a musician. Their children who were all born and raised in Hong Kong, are now grown-ups with families of their own and have adopted different nationalities.
Vir B. Lumicao

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