The Philippine Star – Comelec eyes 2 million Pinoy voters overseas

By Mayen Jaymalin | The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) is hoping to attract two million Filipinos overseas to register and vote in the May 2022 national elections.

Comelec Commissioner Rowena Guanzon said the poll body is looking at different ways to encourage more Filipinos abroad to register at the embassies and consular offices in their areas.

“We are all thinking of other ways by which we can improve our registration, such as more mobile registration,” Guanzon said.

She said the Comelec is considering a proposal to rent more vehicles to allow Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) personnel to conduct mobile registration in larger venues nearer to the potential voters.

In the last May 2019 elections, there were a total of 1,822,173 registered overseas Filipino voters. But the Comelec has already deactivated 578,185 overseas voters who failed to vote in the 2016 and 2019 polls.

“Right now, we have about 1.3 million voters and looking to increase it by 2 million,” Guanzon said.

The filing of applications for overseas voter registration started on Dec. 16, 2019 and shall run until Sept. 30, 2021.

Citizens of the Philippines abroad, who are not disqualified by law, and are at least 18 years of age on May 9, 2022 are eligible to register.

Aside from increasing the number of registered overseas voters, Guanzon said, the Comelec also intends to adopt an online voting system for them.

She said the Comelec is set to test run voting applications in San Francisco, Singapore and one country in the Middle East by midyear.

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