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Heavy turnout takes 9-day total in overseas voting past 9,300 mark

22 April 2019

By Vir B. Lumicao
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Voters queue inside Bayanihan

More than 3,500 voters cast their ballots yesterday, Apr 21, the ninth day of the month-long overseas voting for Filipinos in Hong Kong, amid a marked improvement in the weather.

Voters flocked to Bayanihan Centre in Kennedy Town where the election is being held, even after the official 5pm closing time. At least three voters were turned away for failing to be at the gates at the designated time.
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Morales at media briefing

Consul General Tony Morales said at the daily media briefing that the number of those who voted brought the total for the past nine days to over 9,300, or roughly 10.65% of the 87,441 registered overseas voters in Hong Kong.
The other good news was, despite the heavy turnout, not one of the vote-counting machines had broken down.

Despite this, Morales said they could not afford to be complacent. “We have also reiterated our request for additional VCMs just in case may mga breakdown because we expect the volume of voters to continue rising.”

He said five VCMs are already on standby just in case the need arises. Three of these were shipped last week by the Commission on Elections in Manila in the wake of a series of glitches affecting the machines that were in use.
Morales said that throughout the day, 5 voters overvoted (chose more than the 12 senatorial candidates, or one party-list) rendering their ballots spoiled. One voter did not shade her candidates’ tick boxes before feeding her ballot to the VCM, which also resulted in her ballot being declared spoiled.

Two people who could not find their names on the list of certified voters despite voting in the 2016 elections were allowed to vote after the Comelec confirmed that their names were in its database. 

Three persons with disabilities struggled to climb up Bayanihan’s flight of stairs to the secretariat on the third floor where Consulate officers requested the respective Special Board of Election Inspectors to bring down their ballots and administer the vote to them.
At least one voter cast her ballot wearing a campaign T-shirt for a certain candidate, but none of the volunteers or the election supervisors appeared to have noticed the infraction.

Several senior citizens also came out to vote as the weather improved significantly compared with yesterday’s heavy rain and thunderstorm that prompted the Hong Kong Observatory to hoist the Red Rainstorm warning for the first time this year.   

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