Voting in Philippine mid-term polls kicked off in the UAE at 8.00am on Saturday with some eager voters among the more than 300,00 registered Filipinos queuing up as early as 6.30am.
The month-long elections will run until May 13, the election day in the Philippines, to give the 318,862 registered Filipino voters a chance to cast their vote in the mid-term elections this year. They represent roughly 18 per cent of the 1.78 million Filipino voters worldwide.
At the Philippine Consulate-General, 11 Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines or vote-counting machines are stationed to cater to the 209,862 registered voters in Dubai and the Northern Emirates.
Another seven machines are at the embassy in Abu Dhabi to serve the 109,000 registered voters in the capital.
“We just began our Overseas Elections exercise at 8am where we hope many of our registered voters, all 209,000 of them, would come and participate in the Elections 2019 because we feel that the overseas Filipinos have so much to say in as far as choosing our leaders are concerned and strategising what trajectory to take on coming up with a prosperous and developed Philippines,” Consul-General Paul Raymund Cortes told Gulf News.
Filipinos will be voting for 12 senators and one party-list representative.
This election’s first voter is Mandel Dela Cruz who came early to cast his vote, which took him less than five minutes to complete.
“The process was very good and smooth. I came here at 6.30am so I can vote early and then perform my duty as a volunteer,” Dela Cruz, 51, and admin in-charge, told Gulf News.
He said he came prepared with a list of his chosen candidates so as not to waste time.
Wilson Ortilla, 54, a driver, made sure to cast his vote this time after missing the last elections.
“I served as a volunteer in the 2016 elections but I forgot to vote. I don’t know how that happened but it did. This year, I’m not taking any chances,” Ortilla, also a volunteer, said.
Voting will be open until 9pm at the consulate on Saturday.
How to Vote:
Before voting, check your name in the Certified List of Overseas Voters on both missions’ websites. They are also printed and displayed at the missions. If you renewed your passport during the registration period last year, chances are they registered you as well. Bring with you a valid ID (Emirates ID, Voter’s ID or passport) and to come prepared with your list of candidates.
Completely shade the oval-shaped space allotted before the names of the candidates of your choice. Only 12 senators and one party list group can be shaded. Do not over shade. You can have less but not more than the required number of candidates or your ballot will be rendered invalid.