1,000 Filipinos vote in Dubai on 1st day of overseas voting
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – Approximately 1,000 Filipinos trooped to the Philippine consulate in Dubai to cast their ballots on the first day of the overseas midterm elections, poll watchers monitoring the electoral exercise told The Filipino Times.
This, even as Consul General Paul Raymund Cortes said this year's electoral exercise appears off to a good start. The embassy in Abu Dhabi was likewise busy with voters, officials said.
"It's very promising," said Cortes, "considering the deluge from 6 pm onward," referring to the downpour late that day on April 13.
Regulations by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) forbid officials as well as those who sit on the Special Board of Election Inspectors (SBEI) to disclose specific preliminary details about voter turnout.
Nonetheless, poll watchers told The Filipino Times on condition of anonymity that approximately 1,000 voters cast their ballots on April 13 at the consulate.
"From 8 am, when voting started, to 3 pm, there were about 500 voters on our tally sheet," said one poll watcher. Another, who worked the second shift, said there also were around 500 more toward evening as Filipinos started coming in in groups, apparently from work.
There are 115,000 new registered voters in Dubai and the Northern Emirates. Cortes said this number includes those who renewed their passports during the period from December 2016 to September 2018; apparently, voter registration was required.
Dubai, at 209,000, tops the list of overseas Filipino worker (OFW) destinations with the biggest number of registered overseas absentee voters.
The UAE has a total of 361,365 registered voters; there are 1.8 million around the world, according to Comelec.
At stake in this electoral exercise are 12 Senate seats and one party-list member in the lower house of Philippine Congress. – Rappler.com
This story was republished with permission from The Filipino Times of the United Arab Emirates.