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Registered voters in other places can vote in HK, says consul

26 April 2019


By Vir B. Lumicao

Consul Timmy at daily briefing on overseas voting

Filipinos registered as active voters in other places abroad can vote in Hong Kong as long as they can get authorization from the Commission on Elections through the Consulate.

This was according to Consul Fatima Quintin, who gave a briefing on the outcome of the overseas voting in Bayanihan Centre today, Apr 26.

“Right now, may authority na puwedeng i-request ng overseas voter na bumoto in Hong Kong or elsewhere, basta active registered voter ka sa ibang lugar. And then we just request the authorization,” Consul Quintin told The SUN at the close of today’s voting.
Quintin said there were some Filipinos who wanted to vote at Bayanihan but could not because they had neither registered here nor in the Philippines.

She made the statement as the daily turnout from the month-long vote dipped to its lowest, with only over 260 casting their ballots.

Quintin said today’s voting was marred by one vote-counting machine failing and having to be replaced by a new one because it could not read a voter’s ballot. A diagnostic feed confirmed the problem, she said.
Around three over-votes were reported but the voters involved did not file protests, Quintin said.

“We reminded the voters to vote 12 senators and one partylist, pwedeng mag-undervote pero huwag mag-overvote. Yung iba naman ay aminado talaga na nag-overvote sila,” she election supervisor said.

She said in cases where votes are invalidated because of over-voting, the election secretariat would rather that a formal complaint was filed so that the cases would be investigated by the Comelec and the voters affected would know exactly what happened.

In similar cases in the past days, the affected voters would immediately blame the Consulate and claim the VCMs were rigged to favor other candidates. Some have even gone on social media claiming there had been cheating.
Quintin admitted that the turnout for midterm elections has traditionally been lower than the presidential election but said the ongoing elections are as important because “50% ng senators and papalitan ngayon.

“Hopefully we’ll have better numbers tomorrow,” Quintin said.

She said one reason for the sluggish turnout could be the voters’ awareness that there are still holidays to come. “Ngayon siguro, better distributed yung voters kasi may holiday sa May 1 at May 13,” she said.

Asked what the Consulate is doing to encourage voters to cast their ballots, she said that at the transaction windows, the staff remind people to vote each time they go there for passport processing or document releasing.
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