The flurry of pre-election activities from calling Filipino citizens to register between December 2016 and October 2018 to the final stretches of the mid-term elections came to a slow-down on election day itself, May 13, not just in the Philippines but also in Philippine consulates and embassies worldwide.

The Philippine embassy and consulates in Canada released a series of announcements surrounding overseas voting after receiving complaints from overseas voters not receiving their ballots. Issues ranged from ballots being returned to sender, missing or did not arrive at the voters’ mailing addresses on time.Overseas ballots for registered voters were mailed out beginning April 13.

On April 23, the Philippine consulate general in Calgary issued a call to voters who indicated the consulate office as their mailing address to pick up their ballots by May 12. There were almost 300 registered voters on this list alone.

The Philippine consulate general in Vancouver was active on social media responding to reports about missing ballots. It invited voters to visit the consular office from May 8 to 13 to claim and complete replacements ballots so long as their names appear on the certified list of overseas voters (CLOV).

It was a similar scenario for the Philippine embassy in Ottawa which called on voters to claim and complete ballots on May 11 and 12th. Voters were also invited to witness the feeding of ballots at the embassy from May 10 to 12.

There were over 50,000 overseas voters in Canada both land-based and seafarers. In total, the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) pegged the total number of overseas voters at 1.8 million and over 60 million qualified voters based in the Philippines.

As of press time, partial and unofficial results show the Duterte administration senatorial candidates leading the polls. Newly-elected officials will begin their terms in June.


 

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