COMELEC Bares Latest Guidelines on Online Voting

In an effort to modernize and streamline the voting process for Filipinos residing in other countries, the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) has unveiled the latest guidelines for online voting in the upcoming May 2025 National and Local Elections (NLE). Detailed in Comelec en banc Resolution No. 10986, the new rules facilitate the creation and clustering of precincts specifically designed to accommodate the Online Voting and Counting System (OVCS).

The guidelines, which address the logistical and technical challenges of getting their votes in from abroad, are important for ensuring a seamless, accessible, and secure electoral experience for the global Filipino community.

overseas voting
Credits: PNA

Introduction to Online Voting

In a significant stride toward modernizing the electoral process for Filipinos abroad, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) has revised the guidelines for the creation and clustering of precincts aimed at implementing the Online Voting and Counting System (OVCS). This process, detailed in Comelec en banc Resolution No. 10986 dated April 24, 2024, is designed for the May 2025 National and Local Elections (NLE).

Why the Change?

The modification addresses the logistical and technical challenges of voting outside the Philippines by clustering foreign service posts (Posts) based on their respective voting mechanisms—either through OVCS or the Automated Counting Machines (ACMs). With 93 Posts dedicated to serving the community of voters abroad, these changes are essential in ensuring a seamless, accessible, and secure voting experience.

Clustered Precincts: A Strategic Approach

Here’s how the clustering works:

  • Single Post Countries: Countries with only one Post will establish a single precinct regardless of the number of registered voters.
  • Multi-Country Posts: In Posts overseeing multiple countries, each country will have its own precinct.
  • Nations with Multiple Posts: Each Post within such nations will have a separate precinct.

For ACM users (both postal and personal voting), precincts will be clustered with no more than 2,000 voters per country or jurisdiction per Post, optimizing both management and security.

Timeline and Implementation

The timeline is tight, with the Office for Overseas Voting (OFOV) required to submit the final Project of Precincts (POPs) by December 16, 2024. This allows ample time for all systems and processes to be tested and perfected well before the elections for voters from abroad commence on April 12, 2025.

Benefits of the New System

The revised guidelines promise several benefits:

  • Increased Accessibility: The new system simplifies the process, making it more accessible to Filipinos worldwide.
  • Enhanced Security: By reducing the number of voters per precinct, the system enhances security and oversight.
  • Efficient Results Transmission: Each Post will directly transmit its election results to the National Board of Canvassers (NBOC), speeding up the overall counting process.

Tips for First-time Overseas Voters

If you’re a Filipino residing abroad and planning to participate in your first election from abroad, here are some practical tips to ensure a smooth and informed voting process:

  1. Register Early
  • Ensure you’re registered to vote at your nearest Philippine embassy or consulate. The deadline for registration typically ends a few months before the election, so check the exact dates and don’t delay.
  1. Understand the Voting Process
  • Familiarize yourself with the process to vote abroad, which may differ from domestic voting. Learn whether your location uses postal, in-person, or the new Online Voting and Counting System (OVCS).
  1. Check Your Eligibility
  • Verify that you meet all the requirements to vote from other countries. You must be a Filipino citizen, at least 18 years old on election day, and not otherwise disqualified by law.
  1. Know Your Candidates and Issues
  • Educate yourself about the candidates and their platforms, as well as any relevant issues or proposed laws on the ballot. Understanding these can help you make informed decisions.
  1. Follow Election News
  • Stay updated with election news through reliable sources to receive any updates or changes in the voting process, especially those that may affect your election post.
  1. Plan Your Voting Day
  • If you’re voting in person or need to mail your ballot, plan how and when you will vote. Consider work schedules and other personal commitments.
  1. Keep Documents Ready
  • Have all necessary documents handy, such as your passport and any other identification required by the Philippine embassy or consulate.
  1. Secure Your Ballot
  • If voting by mail, ensure your ballot is mailed back well before the deadline to avoid any postal delays that could prevent your vote from being counted.
  1. Seek Assistance If Needed
  • Don’t hesitate to contact your nearest embassy or consulate if you encounter any issues or have questions about the voting process.
  1. Encourage Others
  • Encourage other Filipinos abroad to register and vote. A higher turnout strengthens the representation of Filipinos from abroad in our democratic process.

Following these tips can help first-time overseas voters participate confidently and responsibly in the Philippine elections.

Recent Updates

Satellite Registration Sites for Overseas Voters Open in Manila

For those interested in registering as Overseas Voters, the Office for Overseas Voting PH has announced the opening of Satellite Registration sites in Manila. The locations include BDO Building in Ermita on May 3, JS Contractor Inc in Intramuros on May 7, and Mariner’s Home Annex 2 in Malate on May 8. Don’t miss the opportunity to exercise your right to vote in the upcoming 2025 National and Local Elections.

COMELEC Conducts Voter Education Lecture and Satellite Registration in Sitio Kapihan

The Commission on Elections (COMELEC) recently organized a voter education lecture on “Voter’s Rights and Responsibilities” in Sitio Kapihan. During the event, they introduced the features of the Fully Automated System with Transparency Audit and Count (FASTrAC), new Automated Counting Machines (ACM), and Overseas Voting and Counting System (OVCS). COMELEC also encouraged qualified residents to register and avail of other applications during the Satellite Registration, with the possibility of setting up a precinct in Sitio Kapihan for the upcoming elections.

COMELEC Holds 2nd Competitive Bidding for Online Voting and Counting System

The COMELEC Special Bids and Awards Committee recently conducted the 2nd Competitive Bidding for the Online Voting and Counting System for COMELEC Overseas Voting in preparation for the 2025 National and Local Elections. Out of the four bidders, two were disqualified for non-compliance with requirements, while the remaining two bidders were determined to have a Qualified Financial Bid and will undergo the Post-Qualification Evaluation.

COMELEC Holds Pre-Bid Conference for Online Voting System in 2025 Elections

The COMELEC recently conducted a Pre-Bid Conference to discuss the procurement of an Online Voting and Counting System (OVCS) for Overseas Voting in the upcoming 2025 National and Local Elections. The conference saw the participation of both local and international online voting technology providers, aiming to integrate online voting as an additional mode for voters outside the Philippines and increase voter turnout.



This overhaul of the overseas voting system by Comelec marks a forward step in embracing technology to enhance democratic participation. As we move closer to the 2025 elections, these changes are expected to empower more Filipinos abroad to exercise their voting rights effectively and securely. This not only reflects the commitment to upholding the integrity of the electoral process but also highlights the importance of adapting to technological advancements to meet the needs of a dispersed electorate.

error: Content is protected !!