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PCG to meet Filcom end of Mar on preps for overseas voting

21 March 2019

Photo from 2016 presidential ballot in Bayanihan

By Vir B. Lumicao

The Consulate plans to meet with Filipino community leaders on Mar 31 on preparations  for the month-long overseas voting for the Philippine midterm elections starting on Apr 13, a PCG officer said.

Consul Robert Quintin, who is in charge of holding of the elections for the more than 87,000 registered Filipino voters in Hong Kong, told The SUN that the meeting will coincide with the training of volunteers for the Special Board of Election Inspectors.

All but two of the 18 volunteers for the nine SBEIs that will be set up for the elections have been selected as of this writing. Each SBEI will have two members from the community and be led by a Consulate staff.
Most of the SBEI volunteers, who are all Filipino residents of Hong Kong, had served in the previous election, Quintin said. 

Quintin said trainers from the Commission on Elections are expected to arrive in the next few days along with the computerized vote-counting machines similar to those deployed in the 2016 national elections.

“We will be definitely meeting with the community but we cannot do that yet,” Quintin said, adding that Comelec has started sending out its trainers to various OFW destinations and those assigned to Hong Kong should be arriving soon.
He also said there are some administrative preparations they still have to complete.

Voting will start at 9am on Saturday, Apr 13, at the Bayanihan Center in Kennedy Town and will close at 6pm on May 13. Latecomers who are within 30 meters of the polling precincts will still be allowed to vote.

About 50% of the 87,441 overseas voters registered in Hong Kong are expected to turn out to elect 12 new members of the Senate and one party-list representative.
Quintin said the next two weeks will be very busy for the Consulate as preparations will have to be crammed into a short period.

These will include installing and testing the vote-counting machines as well as securing the boxes of ballots that will be kept at Bayanihan.
Quintin said the canvassing of votes from Hong Kong, Macau and Mainland China will be consolidated in Bayanihan as in the 2016 elections.

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