Last Monday, May 10, the country had its first automated elections. It was the third time for me to be able to participate in this process. Alas, it was also the worst experience I ever had. Methinks that next time, the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) should institute steps to make sure that the people would not be subjected to too much stress and hassle just to be able to exercise their right to vote.
My brother and I went to the polling precinct at 8:30 a.m. When we got there, throngs of voters were already in line. I did not have a difficult time finding my name (and my parents’ names) in the voters’ list because we were listed in the same precinct that we voted in during the last two elections. My brother’s name was listed in another precinct as he was a first-time voter.
As soon as we knew of our precinct and voter number, we immediately fell in line thinking that we’d be able to vote after an hour or two. Our experience, however, exceeded expectations ( and not in a good way!) because we had to endure four and half (4.5) hours of waiting. Our stress was made even worse by the humidity during that day. I remembered praying fervently that it would rain that time. In fairness, everything was a breeze once we got to the polling room. The PCOS machine did not falter during our turn. It was already almost 1:00 p.m. when we got home. And soon as we stepped out of the room, it started raining (talking about answered prayers!)
My parents ended up not voting because although they went at 5:30 p.m. to the voting area, there were still hundreds of voters who were also in the line with them. It was already 10:30 when they decided to go home because my mom needed to have her insulin shot already.
Nevertheless, I never regretted voting because I was able to vote for someone who could have been the best President we ever had. (Go GT!) And while my heart is filled with sorrow that he did not win, I could not feel any resentment towards our President-in-Waiting as he had already been warmly congratulated and accepted by GT.
Me sans makeup and with a slightly sunburned face
(and sporting an indelible ink!)
By the by, I think all of the problems encountered during the Election Day are just birth pains considering how new we are to automation. I am looking forward to a breezier electoral process in 2013.The real winners that emerged in this exercise are not the candidates who ran and defeated their rivals but the voters who did not waver and made sure that their votes were counted.