PERSONAL | BUKIDNON ONLINE | FEATURES | POLITICS | BUKIDNON NEWS | MUSINGS – Hello everyone! Did you cast your vote today? Or as a friend put it – did you get inked today? Today, May 10, 2010 marks a very special day – one for the books. Today, the Philippines held its first ever automated elections.
My mother, brother and I went out and fulfilled out duties as Filipinos earlier today. We monitored the national elections in the morning and then decided to go to our voting centers before noon. It was raining cats and dogs earlier today, by the way.
To give you a look of just how “orderly” (i.e. barely no lines, no waiting time, no complaints) my precinct looked at the time my family and I went to cast our votes, check this out:
Took this photo as soon as we arrived at our precinct. We found our names right away.
As soon as I entered the precinct, a Board of Election Inspector (BEI) member checked my name on the official list of voters, gave me a ballot and told me to place my thumbmark right beside my name and photo on the voters’ list.
I DIDN’T PLACE MY THUMB MARK.
Instead, I told the BEI that I needed to vote first and feed my ballot on the PCOS machine before I place my thumb mark. The BEI inspector looked a bit stunned at my assertion but I had good reason.
First of all, this was how it was done in most, if not all, of the areas around the country. Vote first, check if the PCOS machine accepts your ballot, place your thumb mark and then get yourself inked. Secondly, I didn’t want to smudge my ballot at all. I’ve heard of horror stories whereby a small smudge can invalidate your vote.
Fortunately, the BEI agreed and consented to letting me place my thumbmark AFTER I feed my ballot on the PCOS machine and AFTER the machine validates my vote.
So I took my blank ballot, a folder and a SMARTMATIC pen.
What I noticed, by the way, was that the folder looked so ordinary. Unlike in previous elections whereby the folders would have “Ballot Secrecy Folder” printed on the front, the folder that was provided to me was something akin to ones that you can easily buy from a bookstore. I then realized that the folder deal with the COMELEC didn’t push through because of an alleged anomaly. So there. Had to contend with the ordinary looking folder that barely “covered” or “hid” my choices.
I personally fed my ballot to the PCOS machine and in just a few seconds, it got validated. I then placed my thumbmark and then fell in line to have some indelible ink placed on my index finger.
I finished voting in less than 10 minutes.
By the way, I personally witnessed an incident whereby a ballot got rejected. The BEI fed the ballot four times but the machine kept on rejecting it. I thought that was unfortunate.
Anyways…I’m interested to know…HOW WAS YOUR EXPERIENCE AS A VOTER TODAY?