20 Things Every Voter Should Do Before and While Voting:
1. Verify your precinct number prior to May 10. It’s fastest to do it online — Click here to “find out your own precinct number”. By the way, if you have time, you may want to help map your precinct through Google maps — this will benefit the people looking for the same precinct where you belong.
2. If you have a computer and printer at home, or if you can go online and print somewhere else (cybercafes/computer shops), please print a ballot sample so you can get a “feel” of how to shade the ovals, see how small they actually look like and test how fast you can do your shading.
There are two (2) sample ballots in the COMELEC website — one for the national posts, and one for the local posts. Print both. Note that in the actual ballot paper, the candidates for the local posts are located at the back of the ballot paper. Click below to download sample ballots:
3. Write down a complete list of your preferred candidates on a sheet of paper. Bring that with you on May 10.
4. Come to your precinct as early as you possibly can.
5. Watch out for people distributing “sample ballots” or other election-related posters or leaflets. Campaigning is NO LONGER ALLOWED during election day, May 10. If you see one, take note and report it.
6. When you have found your precinct number, approach the BEI and verify your identity with them against their registered voter’s list. If everything is in order, they will give you your ballot paper and ballot secrecy folder.
7. Before leaving the BEI’s table, do a quick scan of the ballot paper — it should have prints on the front and back side, if you think there are missing information or something is defaced or blurry, inform the BEI immediately before sitting on your chair.
8. If everything looks okay, find a seat and shade ballots based on your prepared list of preferred candidates.
***WARNING: There is ONLY one ballot paper per voter. There are NO EXTRA BALLOTS. If you make mistakes, you can no longer ask for another ballot. Your vote is good as GONE. Don’t let that happen. Prepare your list and double-check your ballot entries/shades. ***
9. The ballot secrecy folder is not an accessory for display. Its purpose is to keep your vote SECRET. Use it! Your votes are sacred. Guard it with your life.
10. Shade the ovals completely. Dots and half-shades will not be counted.
11. Be sure not to overvote (or voting for more candidates than what is required, like voting for 13 senators instead of just 12).
12. Remember that it’s okay to undervote ( or voting for less than what’s required, like voting for less than 12 senators).
13. DO NOT WRITE ANYTHING ANYWHERE ELSE on the ballot paper. While Smartmatic claims that the PCOS will disregard any/all marks outside the ovals, it is better to play safe.
14. Do not crumple or fold your ballot paper to avoid problems when inserting it to the PCOS machine.
15. When you’re done shading, go to where the PCOS machine is and insert your ballot paper. WARNING: No other person is allowed to do the inserting for you! Inserting the ballot into the PCOS machine is integral to the voting process. YOU HAVE TO DO IT YOURSELF. If it takes you longer than usual, the BEI may assist you but it is you who will insert the ballot in EVERY attempt.
16. If you have done everything according to instructions, the machine will get your paper and prompt or display a “Thank you for voting!” message on the small screen to the right side of the PCOS machine. That is your signal that your job is done.
17. The BEI will put indelible ink on your finger as a sign of your participation and as a reminder that you can only vote once.
Wear that ink proud and relish the moment (even for a few seconds) that you have THE POWER to effect change — that there is NO SMALL VOTE — and that you have all the right to the benefits of democracy because you are an active participant in it and not a lousy, sourgraping and self-righteous spectator sitting on the fence.
18. Ooops! Hold on! Your job isn’t quite finished. Guarding your votes is just as important as casting it. So don’t leave the results to destiny and chance — log on to the COMELEC website and check on the real-time results for municipal level. Report all irregularities and resist all attempts to tamper results.
19. Wait for a few hours and you will have new municipal leaders proclaimed. Two to three days tops and we should have a new president-elect, vice-president, senators, etc.
20. Don’t be a sore loser. Whoever wins as president, as long as the elections are verified credible, support him or her with all your heart. After all, this country’s future does not depend on one man alone. There are 94M of us, if everyone will do his/her job, we wouldn’t have to blame one person all the time.
Think this post can help others prepare for the elections? Feel free to share these 20 voting tips to your social network. You’ll never know what difference it can make unless you try. The clock is ticking. Don’t wait until the last minute. Remember, we’ve waited 100 years for this: Failure is not an option.