Comelec optimistic to get high voter turnout in OAV

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Wednesday said it is ‘cautiously’ optimistic that overseas absentee voting (OAV) for the May 13 midterm elections will have a high voter turnout.

This after Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez noted that a good number of Filipinos abroad have cast their votes for the national positions during the first week of OAV.

“It seems like the interest is high. The turnout has been high so far,” Jimenez said in a media interview.

He said one Philippine post in the Middle East reported that some 1,000 people went out to cast their votes.

“I got a report the other day that in just a day, in just one post, about 1,000 voters in a Middle Eastern country arrived to vote,” Jimenez said.

Jimenez, however, explained that number cannot be used as a basis to project the final figure of voters’ participation.

“We don’t know how it will affect the final turnout. But, at this point, we’re cautiously optimistic that we might get a good turn out,” he said.

Comelec data showed that 2007 and 2013 midterm elections have only 16 percent of voter turnout.

The number is lower compared to the number of voters’ participation in the 2004 presidential elections with 64 percent; in 2010 with 26 percent and in 2016 with 31 percent.

The overseas voting period started on April 13 in a total of 83 Philippine posts abroad.

Records from Comelec showed that there are 1,822,173 registered overseas voters who will be electing 12 senators and a party-list group in the elections. (PNA)