Filipino voters told to check registration

Lily B. Libo-on
Filed on March 17, 2013

The Philippine Consulate-General has urged all voters living in Dubai and the Northern Emirates to ensure that their names are registered on the government’s certified list or risk missing out on voting in May’s elections.

Vice-Consul Gerry Suliguin has advised voters to check the Philippine Consulate-General’s website to verify if their names are listed in the Certified List of Voters. Those whose names are not on the list cannot vote and amendments must be made well in advance of the May 14 elections.

A total of 34 registered voters, who have requested cancellation of their previous registration in other places to shift to Dubai, are being approved for transfer.

Suliguin advised those whose names are not in the list to approach the consulate with their registration tickets in order to send a request for explanation to the Philippine Commission on Elections (Comelec).

For the first time, voting will be automated in the May elections for overseas absentee voters (OAV) in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, alongside five other overseas posts.

The seven places, five of which are in the Middle East, were chosen for automation due to the high number of registered overseas absentee voters, with Dubai having the highest number in the Middle East with 22,374. Kuwait has 11,194; Riyadh, 9,560; Abu Dhabi, 5,388; and Jeddah, 1,591.

Suliguin said that under the automated elections, the process became faster and easier as voters need not write down the names of candidates they wanted to vote for on the ballot. “They need only to shade it, and counting of the ballots will be very fast.”

In previous elections, overseas absentee voting was conducted a month prior to the elections. According to this, voting in the UAE is expected to start by April 14 but until now there has been no instruction received by the diplomatic missions from the Comelec.

Suliguin said the Comelec had not yet brought and installed automated machines to Dubai or briefed the electoral team, who will be manning the OAV in Dubai.

Hong Kong and Singapore, which have the highest number of Filipino voters in the Asia-Pacific region, were automated in the 2010 elections. These places will again be automated in the upcoming elections. The Comelec has recorded 960,000 overseas voters, who registered for the 2013 elections — almost double the 2010 total of 589,830 overseas voters registered.

Filipinos can check the website to check whether they are registered.

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