Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Less than 600K overseas votes seen in 2010

12/29/2009 | 04:33 PM

Original Story: http://www.gmanews.tv/story/180440/less-than-600k-overseas-votes-seen-in-2010

A total of 589,830 overseas Filipinos have registered to vote in the 2010 elections, according to the Commission on Elections (Comelec), with concerns that even fewer will actually turn out to vote.

According to the poll body’s summary of overseas absentee voting (OAV) statistics, 224,884 new voters were added to the previous list of 364,946 active voters from the past two elections. In addition to the land-based Filipinos, a total of 21,097 seafarers will also be allowed to vote in the 2010 elections.

For the 2010 polls, 235,950 applications were received by the Comelec’s committee on OAV. Of these, 11,066 were denied.

Discouraging voter turnout

Since the OAV was signed into law in 2003, figures have not been encouraging. In the 2004 national elections, only 360,000 of the more than four million qualified overseas Filipinos had registered. Of this figure, only 65 percent or 233,092 actually voted.

In the 2007 midterm elections, at least 145,000 more overseas Filipinos registered to vote but only 81,732 cast their ballots.

The low participation rate has sparked calls for a congressional inquiry to find out ways of encouraging better participation.

Despite this, the poll body said that it is all set to automate the balloting for Filipinos in Hong Kong and Singapore.

OFW voters up by 27.8 percent

OFW deployment attained a new record level of 1,376,823 in 2008, up by 27.8 percent from 1,077,623 the previous year.

Data from the Comelec indicated that the countries with the most number of overseas Filipino voters are Saudi Arabia with 111,549; Hong Kong, 95,355; and the United States of America, 40,430.

In terms of geographic regions, the Middle East and African nations have the most number of overseas voters, with a total of 225,148. The Asia Pacific, meanwhile, has 215,548; Europe, 61,294; and North and Latin America, 66,743. - KBK/TJD, GMANews.TV

Original Story: http://www.gmanews.tv/story/180440/less-than-600k-overseas-votes-seen-in-2010

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