By Jo Erlinda Maufit and Jun Nucum
NEW YORK/SAN FRANCISCO – Good news to some 1.7 million overseas Filipino voters in Americas and around the world.
Due to the pandemic, the voters, for the first time, have been allowed by the Philippine Commission on Elections (Comelec) to vote by mail, so they need not go to the Philippine embassies or consulates to personally cast their votes for the May 9, 2022 elections.
This new type of voting will be a big encouragement to the overseas Filipino voters to cast their votes for President, Vice President, 12 Senators and one party-list representative, Philippine Consul Generals Elmer Cato in New York and Neil Frank Ferrer in San Francisco.
ConGen Cato’s jurisdiction covers one of the biggest number of Filipino voters from Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont. List of voters from these places and other information about the May 9 elections are now posted in the Philippine Consulate’s website.
Cato and Ferrer echoed the calls of Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. and Philippine Ambassador to US Jose Manuel Romualdez for the qualified and registered Pinoys to exercise their right of suffrage by way of helping the native land.
Except for Argentina, ballots will be mailed or personally secured by registered voters in all the states of the United States and Canada, two of the biggest sources of overseas Filipino voters, who then have the option to mail back the accomplished ballots to their respective Philippine Embassies or consulates.
Ballots for the overseas Filipino voters were the first to be printed because they will be the first to cast their votes starting April, the Comelec said. Overeseas absentee voting will also end on May 9 in the various countries where they are residing or working.
The Comelec said half of 92 diplomatic posts will authorize voting by mail.
The Philippine Consulate General in San Francisco announced that the overseas voting period for the 2022 Philippine national elections will run from April 10, 2022 to May 9, 2022 (3:00 AM, Pacific Time) .
Consul General Ferrer appealed to Filipino Americans to make their voices heard and participate in shaping the future of their Motherland through their votes ,
“I wish to encourage everyone who is eligible to vote in the upcoming Philippine national elections to exercise your right and duty to vote,” said Ferrer.
The Consulate General’s mode of voting is postal voting, which involves the Consulate sending to registered overseas voters election packets that contain the official ballots. The Consulate will facilitate the sending of the election packets upon receipt of the same from COMELEC in Manila. The accomplished ballot must be mailed back to the Consulate as soon as possible. Mailed ballots that are received after the close of the overseas voting period (9 May 2022, 4:00 AM, Pacific Time) will not be counted.
The Consulate under ConGen Ferrer has consular jurisdiction over Alaska, Northern California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Northern Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Wyoming, and Utah.
The public is advised to check their names in the Certified List of Overseas Voters for the 2022 National Elections at https://pcgsanfrancisco.org/certified-list-of-overseas-voters-clov-2022/.
For further inquiries, please contact the Consulate by email at firstname.lastname@example.org