Daily Archives: May 15, 2016

Post Election Analysis: On OAV Voting

May 15, 2016

Post Election Analysis: On OAV Voting

By Arturo P. Garcia

Despite the fact that the OAV voting was a record success during the last May 2016 Presidential elections globally, it was still a low turn out. And these are the reasons why.

COMELEC’s Arthur Lim, in-charge of the overseas elections, cites different reasons. One, is the mailing system in the host country. He called the mailing system by its name. Snail mail.

They should also send the mail-in ballots in advance. Say, two to one month ahead like what they do in the United States. That is to make sure that the snail mail will come on time. That’s why it is called snail mail.

Another was that the employers did not allow their Filipino employees to vote and the Filipinos abroad did not simply came out to vote and simply are disinterested.

Particularly in Los Angeles where the largest concentration of Filipinos is, Los Angeles has the lowest voters turn-out with more than 8,000 votes out of the 54,000 registered OAV.

The main reason with the low turn-out is the fact the Philippine Consulate did not do an aggressive education and OAV outreach for the May 9 elections.

But we cannot blame the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and the COMELEC for the low-turn out of the OAV voting globally. The problem is more systemic.

Here In the United States, we cannot blame Filipinos from far away Texas, Nevada,Arizona and New Mexico to come to Los Angeles just to vote. Much as we cannot rely on the mailing system of the crisis wracked US Postal Service.

This also happened abroad. Filipinos in Italy,Canada and elsewhere did not receive their mail-in ballots on time. They have to rush to their consulates and embassies just to vote. And how about the others? They will just ignore the elections.

The DFA of the next regime and the COMELEC must learn from this debacle. With high registration, it is not commensurate to the low turn out of voting for the OAV’s in this country. They should seriously study the on-line voting in the United States or put up election centers in FilAm areas not only limit in the consulates

The bad news is that the COMELEC says Bongbong Marcos won the OAV votes. The good news is that Rep.Leni Robredo won in the United States and North America, The Netherlands and elsewhere.

The big thing that turned off a lot of Filipino-Americans especially the youth is the rise of Fil-Am bashing in the Philippines and here in the United States. That is in the case of Senator Grace Poe. Mayor Digong Duterte, Mar Roxas, Binay Miriam Santiago called her an “AmGirl” and “not Filipino.” This is blatant racism. A small nation chauvinism or in case of Duterte, Visayan regionalism against “imperial Manila.” at its worse.

A lot of dual citizens were turned off because of this shameless name-calling and ultra-nationalism and of course regionalism

A Filipino dual citizen, Dr Orlando Cagampan asked,” When we remit million to the homeland, we care called “new heroes. When we ran for office, we are not FiIipinos. What is that?”

As Steve Angeles of Balitang America pointed out in his report, “ Its so low, more than the desired result.”