Cuisia casts his ballot, urges overseas Filipinos to vote

Sunday, April 24th, 2016. Filed under: Local News
Ambassador Jose L. Cuisia, Jr. about to feed his ballot to the Vote Counting Machine (VCM), as the 1,001st voter in Washington, D.C.

Ambassador Jose L. Cuisia, Jr. about to feed his ballot to the Vote Counting Machine (VCM), as the 1,001st voter in Washington, D.C.

WASHINGTON D.C. – Leading by example, Philippine Ambassador to the United States, Jose L. Cuisia, Jr. cast his ballot for the 2016 Philippine National Elections at the Romulo Hall of the Philippine Embassy on 20 April 2016.

Ambassador Cuisia came from a series of official engagements in Manila, Guam, Hawaii, California, and Virginia before returning to Washington D.C. and casting his vote.

Overseas voter turnout has significantly declined from 2004’s 65 percent to only 25.99 percent in 2010. There are 1,386,087 registered Filipino overseas voters for this election cycle,176,064 of whom are registered in the United States of America.

“That the Philippine Government continues to innovate the overseas voting system in order to encourage higher voter turnout and maintain the sanctity of the ballot, therefore speaks a lot about its determination to enfranchise its citizens living and working abroad,” Ambassador Cuisia encouraged Filipino overseas voters during the first ever voters education forum held at the Philippine Embassy last 31 March.

“This is a sacred commitment enshrined in law and has been fully demonstrated every election cycle since 2004. It should be recalled, however, that it was the overseas Filipino community—your community – that ignited and turned this commitment into action. It was your determination to be heard, to have a say in the governance of your country, that made overseas voting possible”, Ambassador Cuisia further added.

The Embassy adopted mixed voting with the Automated Election System-Modified Postal Voting as default option. All registered voters under the jurisdiction of the Philippine Embassy in Washington, D.C that provided complete mailing addresses within mainland USA at the time of registration should receive their ballot packets by 22 April 2016.

Overseas voting will run until 09 May 2016, 5:00AM (EDT). Instruction to voters is posted in the Philippine Embassy’s website at http://www.philippineembassy-usa.org/.

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