Comelec eyes Internet voting for overseas Pinoys

(STAR) Filipinos abroad may no longer have to rely on snail mail or troop to diplomatic offices to cast their ballots in next year’s elections. The Commission on Elections (Comelec) is now eyeing voting through the use of the Internet for the 500,000 Filipino migrants participating in the May 2007 elections.

Comelec Commissioner Florentino Tuason said the poll body is seriously considering the possibility of “Internet voting,” which he said can easily be adopted.

“Internet voting was presented to us by a Spanish outfit and it’s very, very secured so we will probably introduce it in the forthcoming elections,” Tuason said.

He pointed out that Filipinos overseas have easy access to the Internet so there is no problem in the implementation of such system.

“Here in the Philippines it’s a little bit difficult (to implement Internet voting) because not everybody can have access to the Internet, but not abroad,” Tuason said.

He added that the “security features of this Internet voting is very good.”

Earlier, Tuason reported that about 5,000 Filipino migrants in the US will be voting by mail in next year’s elections. He said the Comelec has decided to allow voting by mail in the US because it is faster and cheaper.

The half a million Filipinos abroad set to vote in the senatorial and party-list elections include undocumented workers, according to the Comelec.

Tuason has said that an estimated 150,000 Filipinos are expected to register for the overseas absentee voting which is ongoing until Oct. 31.

He noted that by registering for the coming elections, undocumented workers would not only be able to vote, but also legalize their stay abroad.

In the 2004 presidential elections, only 350,000 Filipinos abroad registered and participated in the polls.

Tuason said the conduct of the absentee voting in 2004 was very orderly and expressed confidence that the coming elections would be the same. — Mayen Jaymalin

[tags]comelec, voting, pinoy, philippines[/tags]

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