Boxes of sealed completed ballots for the 2022 Philippine Presidential polls are making their way to designated rooms in the Philippine Consulate General in San Francisco.
After verifying that the vote counting machines were working properly, the first ballots were fed and receipts were printed.
"Everything went well. We did not encounter any technical issues," Deputy Consul General Raquel R. Solano noted. "We will be doing this every Monday and Thursday."
The rooms were reserved only for designated personnel only.
Fil-Am community leader Chito Desuasido was the sole poll watcher on this first day of ballot feeding for overseas Filipino voters.
"It looks like the process is going smoothly and I'm happy that I'm able to be here and participate and of course watch and witness how it's going and help maintain the integrity of the election," Desuasido said.
47,711 registered voters in Alaska, Northern California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Northern Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Wyoming, and Utah are all part of the San Francisco consulate's jurisdiction.
The consulate has mailed over 12,000 ballot packets. It said they are working hard to send out all remaining ballots in the next few days. It also reminds voters to follow all directions prior to mailing in their ballot to ensure that their votes are counted.
"They should make sure to read the instructions first. And one of the things that we'd like to inform them is that they make sure to seal the ballots properly," Solano stressed.
While voters have until 4am on May 9th to turn in their ballots, the consulate urged voters not to wait until the last minute.
"As soon as they receive their voting packets, i-check na nila, i-fill out na nila yung balota, at ipadala nila sa amin para maaga namin mareceive and to be sure that it will be counted," Consul General Neil Ferrer said.
(As soon as they receive their voting packets, they should check them, fill out the ballot, and send it to us so we can receive it early and to be sure that it will be counted.)
For registered voters who are in the San Francisco Bay Area, there is a ballot drop box in the lobby of the consulate for them to personally drop off their ballots if they wish.