Record overseas voter turnouts in U.S., but protests follow polls
Overseas Filipinos set a record-high of 33% turnout so far for the 2022 elections, according to the Philippines’ Department of Foreign Affairs. This reflects the turnout among Filipinos in consular jurisdictions in the U.S.
In San Francisco, the final figure of 19,680-voter turnout was 41.15% of the 47,711 total number of registered voters for the 2022 national elections, or more than the 14,380 overseas voters (31.02 percent) in the 2016 Presidential Elections.
“I commend and thank the overseas voters in the U.S. Pacific Northwest for participating in one of the most consequential elections in our lifetimes,” an elated Consul General Neil Ferrer announced, who also thanked Filipino community organizations and news media in helping encourage voters.
Copies of the election returns from the states of Alaska, Northern California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Northern Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington State, and Wyoming will be posted for public viewing at the Philippine Center’s Museo ng Lahing Pilipino on the 5th floor.
As the polls closed more than a hundred members of Filipino American community and cause oriented groups started their vigil at the doorsteps of the Consulate in protest of the impending return to power of the Marcos family together and the continuation of “Dutertismo” through the incumbent president’s daughter.
A similar demonstration took place in Los Angeles on Monday, May 9, with Filipino community members holding a “vigil for democracy” in front for the Philippine Consulate.
Among those who attended and spoke were Catholic priests, martial law survivors, Filipino student activists, and rapper Ruby Ibarra. Organizers mobilized Filipinos and allies from the San Fernando Valley, Los Angeles, South Bay, and San Diego.
Participants flooded the sidewalk and filled the stairs leading to the consulate. Flags, banners, and signs were raised denouncing the return of the Marcos-Duterte families into power and their attempts to tamper with the election.
Vigil atendees were outraged at widespread reports of vote counting machines malfunctioning in the Philippines, vote buying evidenced by at least one viral video of individuals passing out Marcos-Duterte flyers with cash enclosed on social media, a video of ballots and counting machines being destroyed by unidentified persons, and at least one incident of execution-style murder on Election Day.