Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Day 131: Right to Suffrage

After nearly two decades, I find myself lining up once again to exercise my right to vote. There were a lot of differences this time around - for one, this is the first time in Philippine election history that an automated election process was conducted, another thing is that I shifted precincts from the city in 1992 to the barrio in 2010. I didn't experience the crowded feel and confusion I did when I voted in QC.  There were only about 500+ registered voters in our clustered precinct so the line was pretty much shorter than in most areas and there was quite an order and organization in both the people and the process.  

It was fun to observe both the old and young alike experiencing pre-voting jitters...unsure of the process and yet excited to exercise their right. To most, the PCOS (Precinct Count Optical Scanner) was like an alien monster that they had to overcome only to breathe a sigh of relief upon seeing the word "CONGRATULATIONS" on the screen as soon as their ballot was fed into the machine. Lining up may have lasted hours but the voting process itself took only about 5 minutes or less. The elderly certainly changed their initial impression of the automated election process once they experienced how easy it was compared to the old way of doing things.

It was far from perfect and it was not without its share of problems and criticism but certainly, this year's elections was a huge step towards a better election process in the future.

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