Internet voting for OFWs eyed in 2016 polls

Posted at 08/05/2014 4:38 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Internet voting for overseas absentee voting (OAV) might be piloted during the 2016 elections.

Commission on Elections (Comelec) Commissioner Lucenito Tagle said they have already conducted the necessary study for possible Internet voting after Republic Act 10590, the amended Overseas Absentee Voting Act of 2013, allowed the practice.

“So now, the Comelec is looking at doing a pilot test on the technology during the month-long OAV in the Americas, Middle East, Hong Kong and Singapore where a majority of migrant Filipino workers are employed, he said.

“They have the adequate technology, Internet connection and large overseas Filipino concentration that are needed for the pilot testing.”

Tagle, Office for Overseas Voting (OFOV) chairman, made the statement after Senate President Franklin Drilon called on the Comelec to fully automate OAV to resolve the low turnout of voters in absentee voting.

Migrant workers are complaining of the hassles of traveling to OAV centers in Philippine embassies and consulates, he added.

Drilon said allowing migrant workers to participate in elections with ease would be a fitting tribute for them.

However, Tagle said the Comelec does not have enough budget to implement Internet voting.

Congress would have to pass a law allowing Internet voting and provide them with the necessary budget, he added.