Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Voter's Guide for the 2010 Philippine Elections

I have prepared a simple primer for all of you voting on May 10. We only have 6 days to go, so by now you should know what to do. If not, here is a quick guide.


Voter eligibility
The first question is: are you eligible to vote? If you have just registered last year, you obviously are.

If you have already previously voted, you are eligible UNLESS you have not voted in the last two consecutive elections. This means that if you have not voted during the May 2007 national elections AND the October 2007 Barangay elections, you cannot vote on May 10. You're probably in the deactivated list. Stop wasting the other voters' time and yours. Stay at home and watch the elections unfold on TV.

If you voted on either May 2007 or October 2007 elections, but not on both, you can still vote.

Precinct Number
Know your precinct beforehand so you don't have to shove your way to the voter's list posted outside the precincts (they're not official anyway).

Find out your precinct number now by clicking here. With your precinct number at hand, you can go to your designated precinct directly on election day.

Note: If your name is not on the list that is posted outside the precinct (aka PCVL or posted computerized voter's list), don't panic. The EDCVL (or election day computerized voter's list - the official list. The Board of Election Inspectors (aka BEI aka teachers) of your precinct has a copy. That is why you can just go straight to your designated precinct. If your name is still not on the EDCVL, you have probably been deactivated.

Sample Ballot
You already know who to vote for, right?

For those who are already decided (good for you!), prepare your cheat sheet. You can get a copy of the sample ballot here (national posts only).


Things to Bring:
  • COMELEC ID / Official ID / Student's ID
  • Sample Ballot/ Cheat Sheet
  • Hanky / Tissue Paper / Hand Sanitizer (to keep your hands dry and clean)

Vote Early
Voting is from 6 AM to 6 PM, but I advise everyone to vote early.

All of us are unfamiliar with the automated system, even the BEI members. There are many unknowns on May 10, so it is better to be there early.

While the rules state that you can still vote if at 6PM you are within 30 meters from the precinct, it's better not to risk it.

There is also the slim chance that the precinct runs out of ballots. Take note, a particular ballot can be read by only one PCOS machine and no other.

So if you go to the precinct late, you might not be able to cast your vote.

Accomplishing the Ballot
Read the COMELEC guide, Pinoy Voter's Academy guide (HT: BenTambling) and the Inquirer guide. They do a much better job at explaining the process than I ever will.

I'm just going to add some things:
  • When filling out the ballot, be quick, but don't hurry. This is when your sample ballot comes in handy. Be careful when shading, though. Avoid smudges.
  • Handle the ballot with care. Keep your hands clean. Don't crease the ballot. If your ballot is dirty, the PCOS machine might not read it. After feeding it four times, your ballot will be nullified. You cannot fill out another ballot - there is no second try.
  • It's ok to under vote, but never over vote.
  • Feed the ballot into the PCOS machine yourself. Do not let a BEI member do it. This is part of making your vote count.
  • When feeding the ballot to the machine, make sure the ballot is sandwiched between the secrecy folder, with the ballot's top part jutting out.
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