Solon pushes anew for online overseas voting

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Sen. Edgardo J. Angara, author of RA 9189 or the Absentee Voting Law, said by providing a faster and more accessible mode of voting, the country can achieve its goal of increasing electoral participation from overseas Filipinos. “More than 800,000 overseas Filipinos have registered as absentee voters and are eligible to participate in the upcoming elections,” explained the lawmaker, noting that the Department of Foreign Affairs is stepping up efforts to get 200,000 more to register before the OAV registration period ends on October 31. However, Angara said that this is still a small percentage of the millions of Filipinos and their families who now live abroad. “When we wrote the Overseas Voting Law around five years ago, there was an estimated three million Filipinos from around the world who were qualified. Three million potential votes can make a big difference on the national elections. Now there are even more potential voters, yet the turnout remains critically low due to practical constraints,” he lamented. Angara explained that in North America alone, there is an estimated 1.5 million potential voters. However, they face logistical difficulties arising from the required physical appearance for registration and voting. If the registration site is in another state, it will take these people away from their jobs and homes just to vote. “We should seize this opportunity to use modern technology to empower Filipinos who work hard abroad. They should still have a say in electing our leaders,” he stressed. ]]>

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