Overseas voting may go cyber
MANILA, Philippines—The Commission on Elections (Comelec) may push for Internet voting next time due to the low voter turnout in the overseas absentee voting (OAV) in the last elections.
“The solution [to increase participation in the OAV] really is net voting,” Comelec Chair Sixto Brillantes told reporters on Tuesday.
Admitting that he too was disappointed with the low OAV turnout, Brillantes said that Internet voting could increase the turnout by 60 to 70 percent.
“I’m definitely disappointed about the performance of the OAV as well as the local absentee voting. Both had low turnout,” he said. “It’s really not practical to go to the embassy or consulate [to vote]. The solution is Internet voting.”
Comelec data showed that only 117,383 participated in the OAV out of the 737,759 registered voters, for a voter turnout of only 16 percent, lower than the 25 percent (153,323) turnout in the 2010 polls.
Commissioner Lucenito Tagle, the Comelec committee on OAV chairman, blamed the low turnout on the lack of interest of Filipinos abroad.
“According to our ambassadors and consuls general even when they went out of their way to entice the voters, many did not want to participate. They were not interested,” he said.—Tina G. Santos