Philippine News Agency - Most Pinoys not in favor of mail voting: poll

10 November 2020

By Ferdinand Patinio | Philippine News Agency

MANILA – Close to half of those who participated in the survey by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) do not want to cast their votes via mail voting.

Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez on Tuesday said out of the 436 who participated in the survey on his Twitter account, (@jabjimenez), 43 percent of them are not in favor of the measure.

Meanwhile, a total of 35 percent would like to vote by mail while 22 percent have questions regarding postal voting.

The survey question posted on the poll body’s Twitter was “Mail-in voting in the Philippines? There’s a proposed law for that. Would you vote by mail? #iwillvotesa 2022 #MagparehistroKa”.

Under overseas absentee voting, Filipinos abroad that are registered voters may cast their votes via mail if such a system is adopted by the poll body for their host country.

Earlier, Commissioner Rowena Guanzon pushed for the expansion of voting and mail voting for the May 2022 presidential polls.

In a Twitter post, Guanzon said she would like the Local Absentee Voting (LAV) to be expanded by allowing more sectors to vote ahead of Election Day.

Under LAV, members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP), government officials and employees, teachers, and members of the media, who are duly registered voters, are allowed to vote for the positions of President, Vice-President, Senators, and Party-list Representatives ahead of the population.

She said other countries such as the United States and South Korea were able to prove that mail voting “works”.

Meanwhile, Senator Maria Imelda "Imee" Marcos said the proposal would allow individuals to mail in their votes may help disenfranchised vulnerable citizens to cast their votes.

"Let's not discriminate against senior citizens, pregnant women, persons with disability (PWDs), and indigenous peoples (IPs) who should be given the option to mail in their votes," Marcos, chair of the Senate committee on electoral reforms, said in a statement.

Marcos has filed Senate Bill 1870, or the Voting By Mail Act.

In the lower house, House Bill 7572 filed by Marikina 2nd District Rep. Stella Quimbo likewise seeks to allow senior citizens to vote by mail amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.

Senate President Vicente Sotto III earlier expressed his misgivings about the mail-in voting system noting that it is "the easiest system of voting to cheat." (with reports from Benjamin Pulta/PNA)