Mobile voting eyed for overseas Filipinos

THE Commission on Elections on Wednesday said it will hold a mobile voting system for all Filipino absentee voters in the 2016 elections to achieve at least a 50-percent voter turnout.

Comelec commissioner Arthur Lim said they will be implementing a mobile voting system for the Filipinos working and living abroad by bringing the vote counting machines to areas outside the embassies with large population of Filipinos.

“These voting machines will be deployed outside the embassies so workers aboard can vote,” Lim said.

For the past elections, the Comelec has been conducting personal voting among the voters abroad, where they manually cast their votes in the Philippine embassies and consulates. Or they fill out their ballots and mail them to Philippine posts.

Lim said the Comelec also plans to conduct automated elections in 29 Philippine posts abroad by deploying Optical Mark Reader machines where ships are anchored so Filipino seafarers may cast their votes.

“I hope we will be able to reach the 40 percent and maybe 50-percent voter turnout,” he said.

The Comelec achieved a 65-percent voter turnout in 2004 but only 26 percent in 2010 during the presidential elections in those years.

But the overseas voter turnout in the midterm elections was only 16 percent in 2007 and 2013.

So far, there are 1,197,756 registered voters overseas, but the Comelec is hoping to increase that to 1.5 million.

The registration of voters abroad is also synchronized with the local listing, which is set to end on Oct. 31.

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