The Commission of Elections (Comelec) on Wednesday urged lawmakers to pass a law allowing Filipino voters abroad to cast their ballots online in order to encourage them to participate in the 2016 local and national elections. Comelec chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. said the poll body will need Congress’ approval to implement an online voting system since Republic Act No. 10590 or the Overseas Absentee Voting Act of 2013 only allows Filipino voters abroad to cast their votes either through mail or at the Philippine embassy or consulate. “We’re proposing [voting through] e-mail or the Internet… but this will require the approval of Congress. The system now is you have to go to the consulate or the embassy kaya kakakunti ang bumoboto,” he said.
Comelec is also studying the possibility of coming up with a resolution allowing online voting for overseas Filipino workers but Brillantes said he is worried this might be questioned.
OFWs may be able to vote online or via e-mail in the May 2016 polls if Congress passes a law allowing voting via the Internet by the middle of 2015, Brillantes said.
In particular, Comelec is eyeing the implementation of online voting in key areas abroad with a large Filipino population such as Saudi Arabia and other countries in the Middle East.