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May Day surge brings overseas voting tally to over 20k

04 May 2019

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May Day queue in Bayanihan (photo by Marites Palma)

By The SUN

Another big turnout in the ongoing overseas voting for Filipinos in Hong Kong on May 1 has raised hopes the total tally could at least match the number of votes cast in the previous mid-term election in 2013.

According to Consul Fatima Quintin, the turnout for May Day was just short of 3,500, raising the total figure to more than 20,000 so far. That represents nearly 23% of the 87,441 registered voters.

If the previous Sunday’s record tally of 4,200 is to be used as gauge, the final result could approximate the 28,258 recorded for the 2013 mid-term election, with two more Sundays to go before the voting ends on May 13.

Consul General Antonio Morales had earlier urged more Filipinos to vote, expressing fears the turnout could dip to only about 24% of the total registered voters.

According to Consul Quintin, the other good news for the day was that no major issue was recorded throughout the day, not with the vote counting machines or with voters protesting about some anomaly.

In the first two weeks of the election, some of the VCMs malfunctioned, prompting Congen Morales to ask for replacements from the Commission on Elections.

Staff administering the vote have, however, found that blow-trying the ballots during humid weather has kept them from being rejected by the machines.

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Another recurring problem concerns ballots spoiled by overvoting. Most of the voters involved did not challenge the outcome shown in their ballot receipts, but a few have decided to file protests, which were duly passed on by the Consulate to the Comelec.

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The line starts across Bayanihan (from Marites Palma)
To beef up the voter turnout, Quintin has urged those registered in other places abroad but who are now already in Hong Kong, to request Comelec through them, to allow them to vote here.

About 3,000 voters whose registration were deactivated for failing to vote in two consecutive elections, can also apply to Comelec to get their names back on the official list so they can cast their ballot.
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