Thursday, April 8, 2010

New voter's ID for OFWs in UAE may be delayed

04/09/2010 | 10:51 AM

Original Story:

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) may not be able to issue identification cards to new Filipino voters in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in time for the start of overseas absentee voting this Saturday.

Philippine consul-general to UAE Adelio Cruz admitted the Comelec is still “purging" the voters’ list as some overseas Filipinos have registered more than once.

In an article on the UAE news site Khaleej Times, Cruz was quoted as saying that the Comelec will issue voters’ ID cards to new registrants as soon as the thorough scrutiny of the list gets done.

But he said the purging of the voters’ list might be accomplished after the election period for overseas absentee voters (OAV), which runs from April 10 to May 10.

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Nonetheless, new registrants can still vote by presenting their original passport, seaman’s book or labor card, Cruz said, adding that they should check first if their names are in the Comelec’s Certified List of Overseas Absentee Voters (CLOAV).

The CLOAV includes the names of those without voter’s ID but has registered last year, he said.

"All three precincts will have the Comelec’s CLOAV and we will compare the list every hour to ensure that there will be no duplication of votes," Cruz said.

There are more than 400,000 Filipinos in the UAE, with 90,000 residing in the Abu Dhabi emirate. There will be three polling precincts in Abu Dhabi, two at the embassy and another one at the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO).

Voting starts from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., including Fridays and Saturdays, from April 10 to May 9. On May 10, voting ends at 2 p.m.

Multiple entries

The Comelec earlier announced that those who registered in 2003 but failed to vote in the 2004 and 2007 elections need to re-register.

But some of those who voted in 2007 had re-registered, resulting in multiple entries.

For the 2010 national elections, the Comelec sent to missions offices abroad a CLOAV, which included the names of those without voter’s ID but registered last year.

In Abu Dhabi, the list contained 17,041 names from Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and the Western Region.

Cruz urged new registrants to check with the embassy prior to arrival to ensure that their names are included in the CLOAV.

For inquiries, voters may call 02-6415922, or meet Fe Abina, cultural officer or Vic EspaƱola, administrative officer.

At the precinct, voters need to present their COMELEC voter’s ID before they .

For the 2010 national elections, qualified Filipinos will vote for the President, Vice-President, 12 Senators and one Party-List representative. — LBG/RSJ, GMANews.TV

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