How to cast your overseas vote in the Philippine midterm elections

NEW YORK — Philippine embassies and consulates around the world including New York are getting ready to mail out ballots for the Philippine midterm elections.

Registered Filipino overseas absentee voters may start receiving their voting packets as early next week.

Overseas voting period begins April 13 until May 13.

“Our staff is working overtime as we speak, most of us are here, most of us are trying our best to make sure na ma-i-deliver ito as soon as possible,” says Kerwin Tate, Deputy consul general.

Philippine ambassador to the US Jose Manuel Romualdez says there are 1.8 million (1,822,173) registered Filipino OAVs worldwide today — and 250,000 of them are in the U.S.

Consul general Claro Cristobal says, the first step: check your name on the certified list of absentee voters,  found on the Commission on Elections website, as well as on your local consulate’s websites.

Persons not listed are not eligible to vote at this time – but can always register for the 2020 Philippine presidential election, when the registration re-opens later this year.

“Pagka na check niyo na sa cloav ang panganalan niyo, call us already, because ang malamang na gusto mong sabihin sa amin, I will collect my ballot from you, sa halip i-mail pa namin sa inyo.”

All the rest, will be mailed out to voter’s listed current address.

Each packet contains 1 official ballot, a return envelope, a paper seal and an instruction manual.

Using only black ink pens, voters should completely shade the circle corresponding to their 12 senatorial bet, and 1 party list.

“You can choose less than 12 but you cannot choose more than 12. Now if we shade more than 12, hindi po mabibilang yun, wala pong macre-credit to any of those.”

Completed ballots must be placed inside the return envelope – sealed with the included paper seal sticker on the top flap and signed.

Fill out the blanks on the face of the envelope and snail mail or hand deliver the completed ballot to your consulate.

“Follow the instructions, and mail it back to us as soon as you can, sa lalong madaling panahon, huwag niyo na pong hintayin hanggang sa susunod na linggo.”

Comelec commissioners warn voters, taking a selfie with your ballot or printouts of your vote is a big no-no and could be used for vote-buying schemes.

Mailed or hand carried ballots must be turned in at the consulate no later than May 13 at 6 am – ballots arriving after the 6 am deadline will not be counted.

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