Sun, Apr 14, 2019 - Page 2 News List

Philippine office unveils new voting system

LONG LIST:Voter Alvin Hernandez said that the system did not save much time due to the number of candidates and parties contesting the elections in his homeland

Staff writer, with CNA

A new voting system was implemented at Philippine representative offices in Taiwan for that nation’s midterm elections, the Manila Economic and Cultural Office said yesterday.

From yesterday, Philippine nationals in Taiwan can vote in Taipei, Taichung and Kaohsiung until May 13 for their local officials, district representatives and senators.

An optical scan voting system would read paper ballots automatically and tally the results, the office said.

Jocelyn Wu, a Philippine spouse who is to vote for the second time in Taiwan, said that the new computerized system is “fast and accurate.”

Voting took only about five minutes, she said.

However, Alvin Hernandez, a patent engineer voting for the third time, said that the system did not save much time due to the large number of candidates and parties contesting the elections.

“We have 60 senatorial candidates, which is quite a lot,” Hernandez said.

“Choosing from 60 candidates is crazy. I cannot remember all their names,” Hernandez told the Central News Agency, showing a list of the candidates that was provided at the polling booth.

“We also have to read a list of about 100 parties to choose from,” he said.

The Taipei office’s move from Zhongshan District (中山) to Neihu District (內湖) would not affect turnout, an official in charge of coordinating Taiwan-based voting said.

The new office is closer to public transportation and is therefore more accessible, the official said.

However, Wu said that it took her longer to travel from Taoyuan to the new office and that the transfer at Taipei Main Station was inconvenient.

The office said that 6,000 to 8,000 Philippine nationals cast ballots in Taiwan in the 2016 presidential election, while there are about 40,000 registered to vote in Taiwan this year.

Registered voters can cast their ballots from 8am to 5pm, including weekends, except for Thursday and Friday next week, when the offices would be closed for Easter.

As of the end of last year, there were 122,000 Philippine migrant workers in the nation, making the Philippines the second-largest source of migrant workers in Taiwan behind Vietnam, government statistics showed.

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