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Automated Elections: Tips on How to Vote

| Saturday, May 8, 2010

I was able to compile some information about the automated elections.

Here are some tips on how to vote for tomorrow’s election.

Feel free to share this to others.

PCOS stand for Precinct Count Optical Scan. It’s a machine that could help us count the votes faster and get the results in 48 hours (2 days). Blackouts? No worries. PCOS have internal batteries that can last 16 hours (the voting lasts 10 hours) in case of power outages.

1. You may find out beforehand (through your barangay), your Voter’s ID number, precinct number, and your sequence number (which is beside your name in the voter’s list).

2. Bring a valid ID. Voter's ID is best. Driver's license, passport, or any ID with your address and preferably a photo is all right). Present this to the Board of Elections Inspector (BEI).

3. The polls open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.

4. You will get ONE CHANCE to have your ballot changed if you don't like it. That's when they first hand it to you. The key is inspection. Inspect the ballot right away for scratches, folds, etc. Additional tip: There will be a barcode going around the ballot. If this is marked, even scratched, in any way, the ballot will be spoiled. That is why, if anyone else handles the ballot, watch them well incase they would intentionally scratch the barcode with their fingernails to prevent your ballot from being counted.

5. Keep your hands very clean before voting. The ballot is very sensitive to marks, ink, water, stains, scratches, folds, or even sweat.

6. You are given 5 to 10 minutes to vote. To save time, you can bring a codigo (list of your chosen candidates on a piece of paper).

7. Don’t make mistakes.

8. Vote only the exact number you should vote for: 1 president, 1 vice president, 12 senators, 1 party list, 1 mayor, 1 vice mayor, 1 member of the House of Representatives, etc. The limit will be there on your ballot as a “Vote for not more than ____”). You can vote LESS than what is asked, just don’t OVERVOTE.

9. The ballot you are given will only be readable by one specific PCOS Unit because it's pre-registered there. Don't line up at the wrong machine or your ballot won't be read and it may spoil your vote.

10. Shade the egg-shaped hole beside your chosen candidate FULLY.

11. You will only have FOUR TRIES to put your ballot through the PCOS Unit.

12. The PCOS machine will print out the vote count in what looks like a long cash register receipt. This will be put into a sealed box that will be sent to the Comelec for proper counting. The PCOS Unit will count the number of voters who are voting based on the ballots inserted into it. Watch the screen on the machine to make sure of voter count, as well as other important messages.

13. Watch the readout on the PCOS Unit when you insert your ballot into it. If you done it right, it will show: “Congratulations! Your ballot has been scanned.” If not, it will indicate why (e.g. improper shading).

14. There will be a usual dropping of indelible ink in your right index finger. There are also the usual signing of forms and marking of thumbprints.


Poll Results:

Question: Do you think the May 10 Elections will be a success?

Yes it will be - 11 votes (78%)

I don't know - 2 votes (14%)

No. There will surely be a failure of elections - 0 votes (0%)

I am not going to vote - 1 votes (7%)

Let us vote wisely. I pray that the elections will be a success.

Special thanks to Princess Mae Chua, a senior Political Science student at MSU-IIT, who is currently undertaking her thesis on voters’ attitude before and after the Automated Elections.

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