Replacement OAV ballots issued at NY Philippine Consulate

NEW YORK — When registered voter Christopher Diaz did not receive his ballot because he had already left his previously listed home address and moved to a new one… He decided to check with the Philippine Consulate in New York.

With only a few days left before the May 9 Philippine national elections, he was given a provisional ballot to cast his vote.

Diaz said, “If you want your vote to be counted, you should go to the Philippine Consulate so your vote is not wasted, it’s not that far anyways. Mailing it takes time.”

Consulate officials say that on April 25 they have mailed out all of the nearly 26,000 ballots to the 10 states in their jurisdiction.

About 6,000 accomplished ballots have been returned as of today but the rest of the 20,000 ballots or 77% of North East Coast registered voters have yet to be received or cast in person.

With only 5 days left before elections, the Philippine Consulate sent out a new advisory on the use of provisional ballots to voters.

“If you are a registered voter and you have not received you ballot, youy can come to the Consulate starting today,” said Consul Kerwin Tate.

The advisory says: registered voters must appear personally at the Consulate to state that they have not received their ballot.

A replacement or provisional ballot with a new serial number will be issued to the voter.

Tata said, “We will make sure the old ballot is cancelled, para hindi na magamit and we will issue a new one for them, for the purposes of them being able to vote… Kasi hindi naman puwedeng dalawang balota sa isang botante.”

The Philippine Cconsulate in New York will be accommodating registered voters to cast their vote using provisional ballots, daily, until Sunday between 9 AM to 5 PM.

Saymir David, an absentee voter, said, “I could have just mailed it but I wanted to make sure that everything is straight, and that my vote will be counted. This is very important not only for ourselves but for the next generation of Filipinos.”

Tate said, “If you are planning to vote, please vote as soon as you can because we don’t want your votes to be wasted.”

For those who are still yet to mail out their ballots, Tate says voters should make sure their accomplished ballots must be received by the Consulate before the polls close at 5 AM East Coast Time.

Ballots that come in after the absolute deadline will be invalidated and will not be counted.

You may contact Don Tagala at don_tagala@abs-cbn.com for more information.

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