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14/04/2016: OVERSEAS VOTING GETS UNDERWAY IN WASHINGTON, D.C.

PRESS RELEASE
WDC-040-2016
14 April 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Overseas voting officially started on 09 April 2016 at the Romulo Hall of the Philippine Embassy, and will run for one (1) month until 09 May 2016.

Among the first to cast their ballots are TSG. Ma. Olga O. Abella (PA) and Chargé d’Affaires, a.i., Patrick Chuasoto who voted on the first and second days of voting, respectively.

This year, the Philippine Embassy adopted mixed voting, with the Automated Election System -Modified Postal Voting as default option, where all registered Filipino overseas voters with complete mailing addresses on record can expect to receive their ballot packets through mail.

The ballot packets contain the official ballot, ballot envelope, paper seal and instruction to voters, mailed a day to a week prior to the start of overseas voting.

To this date, about 97% of ballot packets have already been mailed. The remainder requires correction of mailing addresses. A list will be posted on our website requesting these voters to either provide their updated addresses or come to the Embassy to personally cast their vote.

Voters may expect to receive their ballot packets in the next couple of days. The voter may then mail or personally deliver the accomplished ballot to the Special Ballot Reception and Custody Group (SBRCG) at the Philippine Embassy, to be received no later than 09 May 2016 at 5:00 a.m.

Prior to the start of the voting period, the Philippine Embassy also held the first-ever Overseas Voter’s Education Forum on 30 March 2016 at the Romulo Hall, where video-recorded messages from presidential and vice-presidential candidates who responded to the Embassy’s invitation were shown to the Filipino community in Metro DC.

“It was your determination to be heard, to have a say in the governance of your country, that made overseas voting possible. We call on you now, the 176,064 registered Filipino overseas voters in the United States of America, to exercise the right you fought for, and cast your ballot”, Ambassador Jose L. Cuisia urged the Filipino community present during the said forum.

“Overseas voter turnout is an indicator of the voters’ perceived stake in the outcome of the elections, and of the trust of the voters in our electoral processes,” the Ambassador added.

For the duration of the overseas voting period, the Embassy is open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily for those registered Filipino overseas voters who prefer to personally hand in their accomplished ballots and/or cast their votes. ###