Today is May 10, 2010. Finally, I was able to cast my vote at 5:21 p.m. after having 80 people ahead of me. My parents, sister and I went to the polling precinct at 3:00 pm hoping to find that there will be lesser people voting. Earlier this morning, my aunt and nanny went to the polling place at 7:30 am. Nanny came home after 9:30 am while Aunt was able to finish at 10:30 am. At Nanny’s precinct, the voting went on smoothly despite the long queue. My Aunt’s experience was different, the PCOS machine did not work and it took awhile before it was replaced.
Since there were 80 people ahead of me, I decided to check out the other members of my family. This is a picture of their precinct. They did not have a lot of people waiting in line so it took them only 20 minutes to cast their vote.
I took a picture of my parents and sister casting their vote, feeding the ballot into the machine, waiting for it to say CONGRATULATIONS and having indelible ink placed on their finger.
Below is a picture of me waiting in line after the long queue ahead of me. There were seats outside of the precinct where we sat waiting for our numbers to be called. Actually, when I knew that there were 80 plus people ahead of me, I went home to get my list which I forgot to bring. After harvesting and planting crops at my farm at Farmville, I went back after 45 minutes, just in time to have my number called.
Upon entering the room,I gave the small piece of paper where my precinct number, list number and line number was written to the BEIs where they looked for my name on the official list of candidate. When they finally located my name, I signed the list and affix my right thumb mark on it. Then I was given the ballot enclosed in a long, white folder and the pen provided by Smartmatic. The ballot secrecy folder is not the official folder which should be used, since the official folders did not arrive due to controversies in the procurement of such folders. I sat down and carefully marked the egg-shaped symbol before the names of the candidate. Earlier that day, I made a list of whom to vote with their corresponding number in the ballot so it did not take me long to finish voting.
This is a photo taken at my precinct. There are times when all the seat are filled up with voters. After voting, I returned the pen provided by Smartmatic to the BEI then fed my ballot into the PCOS machine. After 2 minutes of verifying my ballot, a message saying, ‘Congratulations. Your vote has been registered.’ Man, I was so relieved that my ballot went smoothly inside the machine. When my parents fed their ballots inside the machine, there was a paper jam. But, the ballot was read successfully by the machine after the BEI inserted the ballot further inside. I was so happy that I was able to cast my vote. In my excitement, I surrendered my thumb to the BEI for the indelible ink. She asked me for my forefinger and placed a small amount of indelible ink on it.
Above are some pictures taken of voters looking for their names on the list, and voters waiting in line to have their numbers called.In some precincts, voting started late in the afternoon due to some defective PCOS machines . I hope that there will be no glitches in the canvassing and counting of the ballots. I also hope that the winners will truly serve our country and the losers will accept defeat gracefully. I am proud to be part of this historical event, the very first AUTOMATED ELECTION in the Philippines.