Thousands more register for Filipino overseas voting in ten U.S. states
SAN FRANCISCO – Capping a major drive, the Philippine Consulate General in this city reported racking up more than 10,000 new overseas voters for the period 2019-2021.
The Consulate’s post-registration report shows 10,616 overseas voter registrants. Of this number,10,475 are new registrants in the ten areas under the Consulate’s jurisdiction — Northern California, northern Nevada, Alaska, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Utah, Washington State and Wyoming.
The remaining 141 availed of other registration services that involved reactivation of deactivated voters for failing to vote in the last two elections; certification that involves a registered voter in the Philippines who will be voting abroad and, thus, will become an overseas voter; correction of entries as a result of change of one’s maiden name to married name, recapture of biometric information; transfer of records from one country to the U.S. and change of address.
Voter participation is usually higher during presidential elections. In addition, consulate PCG attributed the uptick in registration figures to the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccines, the vaccination of Consulate personnel, and the uninterrupted provision of consular services to the public, including the processing of dual citizenship applications.
Philippine Consul General in San Francisco Neil Frank R. Ferrer expressed elation at the increase in the number of overseas voting registrants
“The numbers for overseas voting registration at the Consulate steadily rose over the past weeks. This shows an increasing interest among our kababayans not only to choose their leaders in next year’s elections, but also to make their stake in the future of our country,” underscored Ferrer.
The Consulate’s special Saturday consular services from March to October 2021, and its consular outreach services in states outside California encouraged more Filipinos to register and participate in the electoral process.
Two whole special Saturdays of registration were also held towards the end of registration periods — September 25 and October 9, 2021 – that greatly helped ease the burden on both the registrants and the Consulate staff members.
Also, the Consulate made available the spacious Kalayaan Hall of the Consulate to accommodate the expected surge of October 14, 2021 last-day registrants and expedite the process and overseas voter registrations while observing physical distancing at the site.
Registered overseas voters with the Philippine Consulate General in San Francisco are also reminded to ensure that they have used their current address or the address where they expect to be at the time of voting when they registered.
They are encouraged to update their postal address or residential address by filing an application for change of address until 3 December 2021.
Concerned applicants may download and accomplish the Overseas Voter Registration form (https://pcgsanfrancisco.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/PCGSF_OVF_No1.pdf), and submit it to the Consulate along with their proof of Philippine citizenship such as a valid Philippine passport or a Dual Citizenship Identification Certificate.
Under Republic Act No. 9189 as amended by Republic Act No. 10590, all citizens of the Philippines or dual Filipino-American citizens, who are not disqualified by law, at least 18 years of age by 09 May 2022 may register as an Overseas Voter and vote for President, Vice-President, Senators, and Party List Representatives in the upcoming 2022 elections.
Those have voted in the 2016 and/or 2019 National Elections are still considered registered voters. Failure to vote in two consecutive elections (2016 and 2019 elections), however resulted to Philippine Commission on Elections (COMELEC) having their voter’s registration deactivated and would have to their status activated during the registration period. .
.The next election is on May 9, 2022 and overseas voters will be able to vote for President, Vice President, Senators and Party List Representatives.