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‘Absentee voting turnout disappointing’

Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes and Commissioner Grace Padaca show voters how it’s done during local absentee voting earlier this week. EDD GUMBAN

MANILA, Philippines - Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Sixto Brillantes yesterday expressed disappointment over the results of the three-day local absentee voting, which ended last Tuesday.

Brillantes said the figures for the turnout for local absentee voting were not yet available, but the number of people registered was dismal.

“Definitely I’m not satisfied.  The number of registrants is lower compared to 2010... So the turnout will also be low,” Brillantes noted.

For the May 13 polls, 18,332 individuals applied for local absentee voting but only 12,732 were found qualified and included in the National List of Registered Voters.

In the local absentee voting for the 2010 elections, there were over 33,000 registered voters.

The Comelec chief believes that the low interest in this year’s local absentee voting is because it is not a presidential election.

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He also said that the inclusion of journalists in the local absentee voting this year did not help raise the number of registrants.

Comelec records show that of the 18,332 applicants, only 575 are media practitioners and only 501 have active voter’s registration.

In previous elections, only government officials and employees, including teachers and members of the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines on poll duty, were allowed to participate in the local absentee voting.

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