My first day as a voter went smoothly. Though there were many unprecedented events that happened later on, I was just relieved that I was able to vote without any worries.
BY MAC BRYAN N. BAUTISTA
Vol. VII, No. 15 May 20-26, 2007
It’s been a few days since the end of the election and now the whole country’s busy counting the votes – watching both the Commission on Elections (Comelec) official count and the National Movement for Free Elections (Namfrel) quick count. I still can’t believe that I actually got involved in an event so big, and everyday I wake up, when I see the purple-tainted index finger of mine, it’s a reminder that it really happened…
It began six in the morning of May 14. I woke up, did my morning rituals, and bought a daily tabloid and some bread from the bakery. I saw a couple of supporters giving away sample ballots along the busy streets of Barangay (village) San Bartolome, Novaliches, Quezon City. I didn’t mind taking one or two of those, then I went back home. After we (my mother, sister and I) finished breakfast, we discussed who we would vote for. Of course we had a little fun that time since we didn’t really know who we would vote for in the local seats, but we were certain who to choose for the national seats.
Then by 8 a.m., both my mother and I went to our voting precinct with our stuff at hand – extra pens, proper documents, IDs, etc. Along the way, more and more people with flyers came rushing in on us, only to find out that they were giving away more sample ballots! My mom and I took the ballots, but then we threw these away since it was a bit inconvenient holding all of these. The precinct was in a public elementary school, and it was just a 10-minute walk from our abode. At the entrance was trash starting to pile up. Gladly it was only the sample ballots other voters disposed, but the place was really still a big mess.
After we came beyond the gate, there were lots of people swarming over a certain area, just a few meters away from the gate. It was actually the information counter getting a beating of a lifetime with voters complaining from missing names, to incorrect photographs of the voters. From incorrect precinct numbers to minor cases of vote buying, the information center has it covered. While they were having their busy moments, I looked for the room where my precinct number was. It so happened that my mom and I were in the same area, though in different precincts. So off we went there.
As we reached the building, I was quite surprised that the precincts were organized…or is it because it was just morning? Either ways, we went to our designated precincts without any hassle.
As I entered my precinct, no one was there but a couple of guys from the Comelec and some volunteers. I signed in, placed a thumb mark on both their master list and my ballot, took a seat and in three minutes or so, I was able to complete the list…or did I?
Anyway, after dropping the ballot in the box, one of the guys asked me to put forward my index finger so that they can put indelible ink on it. I did what they asked me and all was done. I was on the second floor when I voted, so I went down to fetch my mother. However, when I came down, mother wasn’t even starting to vote since the line was quite long. As I waited, more and more voters were starting to pile up in the other precincts. Minutes later, my mother was done voting, and we went back into. My sister then voted minutes after we came home.
In the end, my first day as a voter went smoothly. Though there were many unprecedented events that happened later on, I was just relieved that I was able to vote without any worries. Now that days have passed since, the ink has started to wear off, and all I have to do is wait…all of us Filipino voters are waiting for the results. Thinking if the ones we voted for will be included in the political circle.(Bulatlat.com)