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Local absentee voting for May 13 polls starts

MANILA, Philippines — Those who availed of the local absentee voting (LAV) will start casting their votes on Monday, ahead of the May 13 elections.

“We are ready to hold the local absentee voting, with a lot of it happening in the camps and in the different Comelec (Commission on Elections) offices,” said Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez.

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The poll body earlier approved 34,693 total applications for the LAV, which will run until May 1.

Majority of those who applied were members of the Philippine Army with 21,488 applications, followed by Philippine National Police personnel with 8,501, and the Philippine Air Force with 2,335, data from the poll body showed.

50-percent turnout seen

Other LAV applications approved came from the Department of Education, Philippine Navy, Comelec, Philippine Coast Guard, Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, National Bureau of Investigation, Bureau of Fire Protection, Department of Labor and Employment and media.

In a statement on Sunday, PNP spokesperson Col. Bernard Banac said 162 policemen have signed up for absentee voting because they would be on duty on election day.

Banac said that absentee voting for the policemen would be held on Tuesday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Multipurpose Center of the PNP headquarters in Camp Crame.

Jimenez said the Comelec expected the voter turnout to be around 50 percent.

The LAV is a system of voting that allows specific sectors to cast their votes for national posts ahead of the general public.

Local absentee voters shall be voting at any day from April 29 to 30 and May 1 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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Cost of mailing

Meanwhile, the country’s diplomatic posts had to advance the cost of mailing some of the official ballots to overseas Filipino voters since the Comelec was delayed in remitting the funds for the postage cost.

The Department of Foreign Affairs said it authorized embassies and consulates to advance the cost so voters could cast their votes in time for the May 13 midterm elections.

See the bigger picture with the Inquirer's live in-depth coverage of the election here https://inq.ph/Election2019

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