Comelec eyes Internet voting for Filipino voters abroad
MANILA, Philippines – Internet voting could be the solution to the low voter turnout of overseas absentee voting (OAV) in the recently concluded May 2013 elections, Commission on Elections (Comelec) chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. said Tuesday.
Senator Franklin Drilon said in a statement that there was only a 15.35 percent voter turnout or 113,209 of the total 737,759 registered Filipinos abroad.
“This turn out is way below the already low 26 percent OAV turnout during the 2010 elections. Its seems that less and less Filipinos abroad are inclined to exercise their right to vote, contrary to the intention of Congress when [the OAV] law was enacted,” Drilon said.
Brillantes, in reaction to Drilon’s statement, said that he was also disappointed with the turnout and that Internet voting could increase the turnout by 60 to 70 percent.
“I am also definitely disappointed about the performance of the OAV as well as the local absentee. It is still low,” Brillantes said.
“If there will be Internet voting it should go up to about 60 to 70 percent. It’s the old law that is being applied up to now [and] it’s not very practical to go to the embassy or consulate [to vote which] is the basic requirement. The solution is Internet voting,” he said.
Drilon, the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, wanted the Comelec and the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to explain why the turnout was low despite both agencies being given additional budget of P105.038 million and P43.41 million, respectively.
Brillantes however said that there were no shortcoming on their part.
“Wala tayong pagkukulang. Talagang konti lang lumabas,” Brillantes said. “We’ll just have to study it now.”
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