By Don Tagala, ABS CBN North America Bureau

May 14, 2013

Washington DC – The special board of canvassers have convened in the Philippine Embassy and have started to canvass election returns brought in from various consular offices across the United States.

Chiz Escudero got most votes among Filipinos in the US East Coast followed by Allan Peter Cayetano, Ramon Magsaysay Jr, Loren Legarda, Koko Pimentel, Grace Poe, Bam Aquino, Edgardo Angara Jr, Richard Gordon, Risa Hontiveros, Antonio Trillanes and Migs Zubiri.

Cayetano got most votes from Filipinos in US Mid-Atlantic and Southeast followed by Escudero, Magsaysay Jr., Legarda, Poe, Pimentel, Aquino, Gordon, Angara, Hontiveros, Trillanes and Zubiri.

Election returns from the consulate in New York arrived first. Five other consular posts from Chicago, Honolulu, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington DC also turned in their respective returns.

Once all the returns are tallied by the Board of Canvassers, SBOC Chief Shien Escoto Tesorero will personally deliver all the canvassed returns to the Commission on Elections in the Philippines, tentatively on May 16th.

Because it’s not a presidential election, a dismal turnout is not surprising. But Hawaii Consul General Julius Torres said that he is hoping that online or electronic voting will be considered in 2016.

He added that it may not necessarily be fully implemented by then but at least a pilot study should be conducted to see how this could help increase voter turnout and cut down costs in the next elections.

Torres said that online overseas absentee voting can also help solve the problem of mailed ballots not reaching voters when a voter’s address is mislabeled or the voter has moved to a new home.

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