Philippine voters receive “return-to-sender” absentee ballots

NEW YORK — A quick check on the New York Philippine consulate general website shows Michelle Saulon-Luat’s name is on the certified list of voters.

According to consulate officials, her ballot has been mailed out on the week of April 13.

Saulon-Luat, who has since moved to a new place, believes her ballot must have been sent to her old apartment that is now under construction.

Her ballot is nowhere to be found.

The Special Board of Wlections inspector chairman consul Kerwin Tate says while there are a number of reasons for ballots to be delayed, returned to sender or lost — there is one that is common to many.

“Yung change of address po talaga, na hindi naipa-abot sa comelec kaya… sa karamihan ng pagkakataon pinapadala ng comelec sa lumang address pa ng mga botante.”

So far, Tate says, at least 811 ballot packets have been returned to the New York polling place — out of the 42,000 registered voter ballot packets mailed out.

Tate says, registered voters who have not received their ballot packets may check out the list of returned ballots on their website:, and on Facebook.

But with only 6 days to go until the absolute deadline of May 13 at 6 AM, the Philippines consulate says they have only until Wednesday, May 8, to mail out returned ballot packets.

Tate says another way to secure your vote is by checking with consulate officials if your ballot is with them – then you can personally pick it up, fill it out and cast your vote at designated polling places located in Philippine consulates around the U.S.

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