Saturday, July 20, 2024

Tag: Blog

Voters weigh in

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.”

Problems crop up

Despite the scorching heat of the sun, voters in Sampaloc, Manila still trooped to poll precincts to cast their votes. As the wave of voters descended to Ramon Magsaysay High School on España Boulevard, problems began cropping up.

Julieta Adriano, owner of a dorm just beside the University of Santo Tomas, complained of the location of the poll precincts. "I am already old and I have a problem with my knee joints. It would be very difficult for me to climb the stairs," Adriano said in an interview with the Varsitarian early this morning.

Adriano was assigned to vote at the fourth floor of a newly erected building.

Patience and the PCOS

I arrived at Paso De Blas Elementary school at exactly 9:38 a.m. It was hot and humid amid the sea of voters lined up at Precinct 1154A. Everyone seemed tired and bored but determined to wait for their turn in Room 203.

I went to the end of the 30-feet long intestine-like queue together with my sister, Dezza, who brought her DSLR camera. She tagged along just so she could experience what the first automated election was like, since she failed to register as a voter last Christmas break. I brought my notebook so I could document the important happenings in my first voting experience.

Surviving election day

I never looked forward to the stress this day would bring to me and other people. I would have loved to spend another day off, away from the mere thought of work. Unfortunately, I couldn’t do it. It was election day and I had the urge to exercise my right to vote.

Confident that my body clock would not fail me, I did not set an alarm. But early in the morning, my mother asked me to get up and take a bath, and I did not. Lately, my sluggish side has been preventing me from getting out of bed early.

“Five more minutes,” I told myself. As expected, these minutes magically transformed into hours. Waking up at 9 a.m., I was surprised to find out that everybody had gone out to vote.