NEW YORK - Philippine embassies and consulates around the world including New York are getting ready to mail out ballots for the Philippine midterm elections.
Registered Filipino overseas absentee voters may start receiving their voting packets as early as next week.
Overseas voting period begins April 13 until May 13.
“Our staff is working overtime as we speak, most of us are here, most of us are trying our best to make sure na mai-deliver ito as soon as possible,” said Deputy consul general Kerwin Tate.
Philippine Ambassador to the US Jose Manuel Romualdez said there are 1.8 million (1,822,173) registered Filipino OAVs worldwide today and 250,000 of them are in the U.S.
"It should be more, but it's good enough and I hope all of them will go out and vote," said Romualdez.
Consul general Claro Cristobal told overseas absentee voters to check their names on the Certified List of Absentee Voters (CLOAV) found on the Commission on Elections website, as well as on the local consulate’s websites.
Persons not listed are not eligible to vote at this time but can always register for the 2020 Philippine presidential election, when the registration re-opens later this year.
“Pagka na check niyo na sa CLOAV ang pangalan niyo, call us already, because ang malamang na gusto mong sabihin sa amin, I will collect my ballot packet from you, sa halip i-mail pa namin sa inyo,” said Cristobal.
All the rest will be mailed out to the voter’s listed current address.
Each packet contains 1 official ballot, a return envelope, a paper seal and an instruction manual.
Using only black ink pens, voters should completely shade the circle corresponding to their 12 senatorial bets, and 1 party list.
Completed ballots must be placed inside the return envelope sealed with the included paper seal sticker on the top flap and signed.
“Follow the instructions, and mail it back to us as soon as you can, sa lalong madaling panahon. Huwag niyo na pong hintayin hanggang sa susunod na lingo,” added Tate.
Comelec commissioners have warned voters not to take a selfie with their ballots, which could be used for vote-buying schemes.
Mailed or hand carried ballots must be turned in at the consulate no later than May 13 at 6 a.m. Ballots arriving after the 6 a.m. deadline will not be counted.
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