Jeddah — Hundreds of Philippine expatriates, who registered as Philippine Overseas Absentee Voters (OAV), queued up outside polling station at Philippine consulate here on Saturday to cast their votes as overseas voting in Saudi Arabia and across the globe kicked off.
At least 1.8 million registered Filipino voters abroad that include 325,000 in western region of Saudi Arabia are expected to exercise their franchise during a month-long poll.
The month-long voting will run until May 13 at the Philippine missions in Jeddah, Riyadh and Al-Khobar.
Filipinos abroad can elect 12 senators and a party-list representative in Congress for the upcoming midterm elections under the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte.
“The turnout is impressive and satisfactory,” Philippine Consul General Edgar B. Badajos told Saudi Gazette.
He said registered voters may cast their votes till May 13, 2019, including on weekends except on April 18-19, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
On the last day on May 13, 2019, the voting will be from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. only.
Badajos advised voters to bring their passports or Civil IDs or any Philippine government-issued ID such as UMID, SSS ID, Driver’s License, PRC ID, OWWA or iDOLE, Voter’s ID or other valid Ids.
He reminded the COMELEC’s theme for this election period: “Let’s All Vote! Let’s Strengthen our Democracy. It’s Our Right and Duty.”
Philippine Embassy in Riyadh conducted the testing and sealing of vote counting machines (VCMs) in the presence of community members.
Counting of votes in the Philippines is being carried out through electronic machines since the 2010 general elections.