If you're a first-time voter, then you're probably a bit lost as to how you're supposed to cast your votes. Which precinct should you go to? What happens if you forget to bring an ID? What do you need to do to ensure that your ballot is accepted? In the process of preparing for May 13 ourselves, we've come up with a quick list of things to remember. Check them out below:
1. Go to your local precinct as early as you can.
According to the Philippine Information Agency, voting will be from 7:00 A.M. to 7:00 P.M., and voters will be accommodated on a first come, first serve basis. We suggest taking advantage of this by going to your local precinct (which is usually the nearest public school, but make sure to double-check using Comelec's precinct finder) early. If you’re lucky, you’ll have practiced your suffrage rights in less than an hour.
2. Wear comfortable clothes.
Voting isn’t a walk in the park. Most likely, it will be hot and humid, so try not to wear anything that might exacerbate the already stifling conditions. Don’t flash your mobile phone carelessly, either. Aside from the fact that you’re not allowed to use it anyway, you don’t want to attract unwanted attention from strangers. Thieves have suffrage rights, too, you know.
3. Bring your ID.
While you don't need to bring your voter's ID, it's important that you bring a government-issued ID with you. If you forgot to bring any form of identification, GMA News reports that the Board of Election Inspectors (BEIs) can confirm your identity using information derived from the biometrics record.
4. Know exactly whom you’re going to vote for.
Don’t wait until the last minute to decide on whom you’re going to vote for. If you’re willing to wait in line to practice your voting rights, you might as well make them count. Mae Paner, the star of the Juana Change viral videos and Juana C. The Movie follows the three Es when choosing her candidates. “I always say they have to be effective as leaders, they have to be ethical as leaders, and they have to be empowering, they have to believe in the people,” she says. Another neat idea? Bring a cheat sheet!
5. Treat the ballot with respect.
Another reason you need to be sure of whom you’re voting for is because the Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines are very sensitive. Don’t risk smudging your ballot or overvoting because the machines could easily reject your vote. Undervoting, however, is perfectly fine. On that note, you need to fill in the ovals completely as well, or else your ballot will be sent back to you for “ambiguous marks.” If you need a little practice, check out the e-Leksyon app that allows you to practice filling out ballots.
6. Don't panic if the PCOS machine rejects your ballot.
If the machine says that your ballot cannot be read, Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez says to "re-feed the ballot in four different orientations." You can also ask any one of the BEIs to help you out.
7. Brag that you voted.
We won't be surprised if we see #brag that you voted trending on Twitter come election day. Jimenez himself has tweeted that it would be a great idea to let the indelible ink dry and stain before showing it off the world.
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