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2.6k votes cast on 9th day of overseas voting for Filipinos in HK

18 April 2022

 By Daisy CL Mandap


Today's early morning crowd inside Bayanihan Centre (from Congen Raly Tejada's FB post)

Despite being hampered by some glitches, overseas voting for the 2022 presidential election in the Philippines was generally smooth today at the Bayanihan Centre in Kennedy Town.

According to Consul General Raly Tejada, the day’s turnout was about 2,600 – which was half of Sunday’s tally, but still sizeable considering that Easter Monday is a general, and not a statutory holiday, when foreign domestic workers are entitled to take the day off.

Overall, a rough estimate of the cumulative total from nine days of overseas voting is now nearly 24,000. No exact figure could be drawn because the Commission on Elections has prohibited overseas posts from supplying actual daily tally to the public.

Photos shared by Congen Tejada on his Facebook account showed a queue had formed outside Bayanihan at about 9:45am, although he said it was short and there was a steady stream of voters arriving at the polling venue.

Some of the day’s voters posted on Facebook that voting went on smoothly, with each of them spending only an average of 30 minutes to queue up and cast their ballots.

But two precincts on the sixth floor remained closed today, after their vote-counting machines broke down yesterday.

One voter said those assigned to the two precincts had to be diverted to others on the lower floors so they could cast their ballots. But one poll watcher said the machine had started acting up as early as Friday.

Acknowledging the machine breakdown, Congen Tejada said yesterday that they were being fixed, and that the Commission on Elections in the Philippines had assured him that new machines will be sent to Hong Kong by tomorrow, Wednesday.

Having all 10 precincts open could greatly reduce the waiting time of voters (CG Tejada's photo)

It was only a week ago that the Comelec allowed the Consulate to restore Hong Kong’s 10 precincts after reducing them earlier to just five.

As a result, thousands of voters had to be turned away on the first day of voting on Apr 10 after police were spooked by the throng that descended on Bayanihan, hoping to be among the first to cast their ballots.


Poll watchers also reported some odd events that happened during the day, like when a ballot that bore a serial number different from those assigned to the cluster it came from was repeatedly rejected by the VCM.

Nahalo daw,” (It had been mixed in) said the watcher, referring to the explanation given by the special board of election inspectors (SBEIs) at the precinct.


But the board members took note of the problem and asked the poll watchers to witness them canceling the spoiled ballot and issuing a new one to the voter.

The VCM also rejected some ballots initially, but all got through eventually.

The queue outside Bayanihan at about 9:45am

Other than this, the poll watchers said they managed to report voters who were taking selfies inside the precincts, or wearing shirts that bore the names or logos of their preferred candidate.

Poll officers have repeatedly advised people not to go to Bayanihan displaying campaign materials or wearing shirts that identify their chosen candidates. But they can vote in whatever color of clothing they prefer.


One voter caused a commotion in one of the precincts on the fifth floor after he angrily proclaimed that the receipt he got after he cast his ballot did not accurately reflect his votes.

The voter claimed his receipt showed he did not vote for a vice-president and party-list and chose only six senators, when he supposedly chose a complete set of candidates.

But when the SBEI chair asked the voter if he wanted to file a complaint he said no. He also could not answer immediately whose names were not shown on his ballot receipt, so the observer said it looked like the voter was just trying to create a scene.


Another complaint pertained to an elderly Filipina who loudly proclaimed to everyone on the bus she took going home from Bayanihan that she was a volunteer but was a rabid supporter of a presidential candidate.

Throughout the bus journey, she narrated events that supposedly happened inside Bayanihan, like when a vote supposedly cast in her candidate’s favor was not reflected in the ballot receipt, suggesting that cheating was going on. Despite this, she predicted a landslide win for her candidate.


Consul Bob Quintin, who heads the electoral process in Hong Kong, has promised to look into the complaint and take action if necessary.

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