By Marieton Pacheco, ABS CBN North America Bureau

May 14, 2013

Vancouver – It was a shorter counting of ballots for overseas absentee voting across Canada. Partial unofficial results showed similar tallies across the three posts in the country: from the Philippine embassy in Ottawa to the consular offices in Toronto and Vancouver.

Senate veterans Allan Cayetano, Loren Legarda and Chiz Escudero led the initial tally. Koko Pimentel, Edgardo Angara Jr. and Ramon Magsaysay Jr. were also in.

Similar to partial tallies back home, newcomers Grace Poe and Bam Aquino made it to the list. Nancy Binay, however was at the bottom 20.

Other old-timers Antonio Trillanes, Dick Gordon and Gringo Honasan made it to the top 12 in Canada and so did Risa Hontiveros.

But like in the US, voter turnout here was low.

Of 16,000 registered voters in Toronto, less than two thousand -thousand cast their ballots.

Voter turnout was less than 10-percent in Vancouver, with only 1,159 casting their votes out of almost 13,000 registered voters — a disappointing outcome given the convenience of the OAV process in Canada where postal voting is allowed.

“It’s supposed to make it easier and convenient but I’m not sure what the reasons are, maybe they were too busy or it just wasn’t their priority,” said Consul Anton Mandap.

Another consular official added that midterm elections are generally less busy than a presidential one.

“This time around compared to 2010, we finished canvassing earlier. There were fewer candidates so the list was shorter,” said Consul Bolivar Bao.

But members of Migrante partylist are still disappointed with the turnout.

“The turnout was discouraging. A lot of people registered but how come very few voted?” asked Migrante’s Jonathan Canchela.

Advocates like him are pushing for online or computerized voting in Canada, saying the postal system just wouldn’t work anymore.

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