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DAY 30: HK SET FOR ANOTHER RECORD TURNOUT

09 May 2016

The last Sunday of voting went on smoothly
Hong Kong is on track to lead all overseas posts in recording the highest turnout in the ongoing overseas voting for the 2016 Philippine presidential elections.
At the close of the last Sunday of the automatedvoting yesterday, May 8, the total number of voters who had cast their ballots in the month-long election had risen to 45,561, for a turnout of about 49%. The day's tally was 5,474 voters.
The overall figure is close to the 50% turnout forecast by the Consulate, with one more day to go before the polls close at 5pm today.
Despite the comparably high turnout, Consulate officials were still slightly disappointed because a big number of would-be voters had to be turned away because they were among those who were deactivated for failing to vote in the past two elections.
Most of them belong to the Iglesia Ni Cristo church, most of whom started voting only in the last four days of the election, after receiving word from their leaders on who to vote for.
The Comelec secretariat was kept busy by complaints
from voters who were not in the voters list 
According to a Consulate staff, the INC members who were taken off the official list were told when they tried to register in July last year that they were still "active" voters. But about a month later, many were taken off the list after the Commission on Elections decided to purge it of those who did not vote in the 2010 and 2013 elections.
Some of those who tried to vote yesterday said they were not even aware that a mid-term overseas voting was held three years ago.
About two dozen others were also made to wait after their names were not found in the Comelec list, despite registering last year. Those who remembered to bring their registration slip were allowed to vote, after Comelec gave them the green light through text messaging with the Consulate secretariat.
Outside Bayanihan Centre where the overseas voting has been held since 2004, supporters of the major political parties made a final push for their candidates, giving away flyers, ballers and other campaign paraphernalia.
But the campaigners were noticeably less boisterous than the previous Sunday, when police had to be called in after rowdy supporters of presidential bet Rodrigo Duterte met resistance from the other groups.
Despite the high turnout expected this year, the total number would still be way lower than the record figure of 66,500 voters recorded in the first overseas voting in 2004, when manual voting was still in force. The figure represented 75% of the 89,000 registered voters that year.
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