In my polling place in Pampanga, the comfort level with the automated election system was understandably low, considering it was everybody’s first time to fill up an entirely new ballot design and use a counting machine.

Marites Yap, 32, of Santo Domingo, Angeles City said: “I am not yet comfortable with automated voting, the portion that has to be shaded was so small. But I think I will be used to it since it looks like a better system.”

“Mas okay ang mano-mano. Mas mabilis,” said Rowena Santos, 40, of Porac, Pampanga. “Before you just have to go your precinct and vote, now you have to first secure a number and wait in a long queue.”

Senior citizen Jovencio Mamangon, 67, said it was not difficult for him to adjust to the new polling system. “I needed just a little of patience in shading the circles because they were small,” he said. “But it was fine.”

Corazon David, 50, said she had no misgivings despite the hour-long wait before finally voting. “It’s fine. At least this system will eliminate vote-shaving and padding,” David said.

“Very easy,” Virgillio Mesdele, 39, said of the automated elections.

In any case, voters were excited to vote and didn’t want briefings offered by Angeles City election officials. Some tempers flared amid the long wait under the blistering heat of the sun.

“We have been thrown barrages of election advertisements in the television and newspapers. We do not anymore need this kind of briefing,” said Bong Naguit, 46, of Angeles City.

“(The election) is very disorganized and slow. If this will continue, many will not be able to vote,” said Dolores Manaloto, 46.

Patience and the PCOS

Angeles City poll supervisor Carolina Patarata said the briefing would have lessened confusion among voters. “The aim of the briefing was to make people at ease when they undergo actual voting,” Patarata said. “This is a different election. No second chances.” Cliff Harvey Venzon


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