Saturday, April 10, 2010

Pinoy overseas voters in KSA urged to vote as OAV starts

04/10/2010 | 09:54 AM

Original Story:

JEDDAH, KSA — Filipino expatriates who are registered to vote in this year’s Philippine elections in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) were urged to cast their ballots as the Overseas Absentee Voting (OAV) began Saturday morning.

“Please go out and vote, don’t waste the chance to choose the right leader," Philippine Ambassador Antonio Villamor said.

A total of 589,830 overseas Filipinos are on the list of voters for this year’s national and local elections.

More than 52,887 voters are registered in Riyadh; 36,053 in Jeddah; and 21,537 in Alkhobar.

Overseas voters can vote only for a president, vice president, 12 senators and one party-list organization.

In Jeddah, Comelec focal person Consul Leo Tito Ausan Jr. said that all the election paraphernalia have been received and allocated, voting places have been set-up and were ready to accommodate the voters.

He added that there will be some volunteers from the Alhekma International School, the International Philippine School in Jeddah and the dependents of some of the consulate staff who will assist in the month-long voting process.

In Riyadh, the voting Place in the embassy’s basement is ready and there are also some volunteers who will help their team according to Vice Consul Russel Reyes, who is also Comelec’s focal person in Riyadh.

He said that they were able to secure a permit from the host government to conduct the OAV in Bhurayda and everything has been set up. Buraydha is 338 Kilometers away from Riyadh.

According to him, the voting place will be at the Philippine International School in Buraydha and in Alkhobar, it will be at the International Philippine School.

The Comelec also clarified that it is not mandatory for overseas absentee voter to present their voter’s ID as they cast their ballots. Comelec Resolution No. 09-0569 has temporarily suspended the printing of OAV IDs for new registrants due to some technical processes.

In order to vote, the voter should be in the certified list of overseas absentee voters (CLOAV) and must present secondary identification document.

Officials said registered voters can cast their ballots from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the first day of voting at four polling places kingdom-wide.

In succeeding weekdays (Saturday through Wednesday) voting period in Riyadh is from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., while on weekends (Thursdays & Fridays) from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

In Al-Khobar succeeding weekdays (Saturday to Wednesday) voting starts from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., while on weekends (Thursdays & Fridays) from 10 am to 6 p.m.

In Jeddah voting period will start from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. starting April 11 to May 9. Voting ends at exactly 1 p.m. on 10 May 2010.

Those who have registered are requested to check first if their names are in the CLOAV, which can be accessed either on the Commission on Elections website, or the embassy website. — Ranaldo Concha/LBG, GMANews.TV

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