How was your experience of the country’s first automated elections?

Mine was surprisingly pleasant and without much of the drama I see from TV reports.  The ubiquitious long lines and sweltering heat are givens but what made them bearable was the efficient and organized Board of Election Inspectors (BEI) in charge of our cluster of five precincts.  FYI, our barangay, Barangay 13, is the third largest barangay in Pasay City in terms of area and population.

Mama and I arrived at the Pasay City West High School at around 10:00 AM.  The maze to our precinct was fairly easy as having been an active voter since the 1998 elections.  We went straight to the voters’ list taped on the wall, copied our number, and joined the queue, which the wise BEI tucked in the adjacent room so as to minimize crowding along the corridor.  With the day’s issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer in tow, 45 mins passed by swiftly and it was already my turn to face the poll clerk before I finished the Opinion Section.

The experience seemed surreal to me, primarily because I knew how the election was like before.  I was awestruck when I finally saw the much talked about PCOS machine in front of the classroom and when I was handed my ballot.  I felt giddy when I fed my ballot into the machine, and I made sure that I did it right.  And when it flashed “Congratulations!” shortly after processing all the “itlog na bilog” in my ballot,  I fought hard not exclaim in amazement.  In less than five minutes, from the poll clerk to ballot submission, I was already proudly flashing a dirty finger.

I understand that not everyone is as blessed as we were in our precinct.  As I type this blog, 11 and 1/2 hours have already passed since the the polls opened.  Sadly, the news is still rife with reports of disenfranchisement due to faulty machines, frustrating long lines, missing names, etc.  But let’s not give up on our votes.  The PPCRV desk is there to assist you,  you can go to the local COMELEC if your name is not on the list, and you can just treat the long lines as if you are lining up for movie tickets or at the grocery counter.  ‘Wag bibitiw.  Huwag iwanan ang pagboto.

As for the COMELEC, here’s a tip from Prof. Florenda Gabriel, my professor and mentor back in UP.  She texted me this when I asked asked her how her voting experience had been:

Ok ang machines pero kulang ng work simplification. Kailangan yata ng COMELEC ng efficiency expert.  People and movement flow, operation and facilities layout. Where to put instructions, precinct no., and voters’ list to facilitate flow. I think there were so much focus on the machines that other operational aspects were overlooked.

I told her that it’s a good business idea and maybe we could offer our consultancy services to COMELEC.

She replied: “Sige nga.” 😀

How about you?  What did you experience?  Care to share?


4 thoughts on “iVoted

  1. Hi, Claudeth. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I appreciate it. Yes, be glad that you are privileged enough to see a tenet of democracy happen before your eyes. There are people in this world who are unlucky to be born in countries where most of the basic human rights are not respected. And please look forward to the day when you are adult enough to participate in this election exercise. By looking forward, i mean being an active part in nation-building, wherever you may be. 🙂

  2. Am not a registered voter due to my age status. I kept my eyes and ears on the news about the election, nevertheless, and I think the recently executed election was far better than the previous ones. I agree that there were still many aspects to improve but that was still the best so far, I believe. In general, I heard that people felt so overwhelmed and satisfied with how the election went and that was reflected by their patience and eagerness to vote. As for my case, I tried to visit our school. On my way, I felt a combination of surprise and disappointment seeing the sky was covered by election paraphernalia such as banners of candidates and told myself “parang fiesta lang ah…” (As in, OA talaga….).

    Hopefully the result [I mean, the new administration] would show the transparency of the election [It doesn’t really matter kung sino ang manalo, basta sya na may magagawa!].. As a youth, I am really hoping for a change for our country. Also, I wish that at the time that I’m going to vote, improvements will be more apparent [and no more fiesta..]. I’m happy with how the election went and I hope everyone would see not just the deficiencies of the 2010 election but that as a sign of development in our country… 🙂

  3. May 10, 2010 is one of my worst day! I have to fall in line for four and half hours outside the San Antonio Covered Court from 7:30AM to 12:00 Noon just to vote. I realized then that “dapat bantayan hindi lamang ang boto kundi pati ang linya.” There were some watchers who had the nerve to call their relatives “in” while the rest of us struggled outside waiting for our chance. It’s good that people were vigilant not to allow “dayaan in the precinct and dayaan in the linya.” Luckily, my PRESIDENT NOYNOY AQUINO also experienced what I experienced. Luckily, my candidates for president, vice president, mayor and vice mayor of Makati are all winning. The long wait is worth it. As to the COMELEC, shape up or ship out!!!!!!

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