Take a Number

May 11, 2010 at 10:42 AM | Posted in Current Events | Leave a comment
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Yup, that’s what I ran into when I arrived at the precinct where I was supposed to vote during the Philippines’ national and local elections yesterday. I had to take a number and get in line before I could vote. From what I’ve seen and heard at the precinct, majority of the voters there weren’t aware that we all had to take a number first. It came as a big suprise to all actually. Whereas in the past elections, voters only had to look for their name in the list posted on the boards, get in a short line, and wait for their turn.

indelible ink on my finger

Being excited to vote in the country’s first automated election, I got up early Monday morning and dropped by in Pasig City to vote. I got there in the school premises at 7:45 AM but had a hard time finding my precinct. By 8:00 AM I finally found my precinct, got in line outside, and waited for three whole hours before my number was called. The day was hot, the air humid, and the precinct was overcrowded. During those long hours of waiting, people were short-tempered, confused, angry, and pissed off because of the extremely long lines and chaotic voting system. I was thankful that I had a heavy breakfast that morning or I would have fainted already in the intense heat and large crowds.

By 11:00 AM I was finally ushered in the precinct to cast my vote. It only took me about ten minutes or less to vote including inserting the ballot through the PCOS machine. I was so relieved when I finally came out of the school premises. I was pleased with myself that I became a part of an historic election. Despite of the confusion of the new voting system and the technical glitches encountered, I could say that the automated election was a success. Give it time to mature and improve the system and I think automated elections in the future will run smoothly.

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