Saturday, May 15, 2010

The First Automated Election in the Philippines, Finally!

Congratulations! Last Monday the PCOS machine displayed this message on the screen, which means my vote has been counted and added to the list of registered voters who participated on the “first automated election,” an event people have hazy opinion about its realization.

The night before I became part of the history (I really take pride that it’s hard not to show), I was excited to cast my vote by shading instead of writing, and was nervous to be humiliated if in case the PCOS machine refuse to read my ballot, taking away the once-in-a-life-time  opportunity.

But all my worries are gone now and so are my frustration and weariness caused by two hours of standing and waiting in line. Contrary to the manual election, the old method Filipinos have been using for so many years, the process of voting back then took only a few minutes. It starts from the verification of the voters’ name and ends with being marked with indelible ink at the right index finger, a way of dissuading flying voters to adversely affect the accumulated votes.

These two different methods have contrasting effect during the election as I’ve discussed further on Redgage and on the outcome. In the first automated election, voting was slow because Filipinos are all beginners. While in some parts of the country, many PCOS machines were replaced and if all else fail the votes, I guess, will be counted manually (back to the old days, so semi-automated election is the applicable term then).

In spite of the inconveniences, the much-anticipated results of the 2010 Election are supposed to be released, a few days for the national position and a day or more for local. Whereas, by counting the votes manually Filipinos have to wait, to hope, and to worry in weeks before the results were released.

Let’s focus now on waiting—the period that leaves everything hanging. I still have the list of my favored candidates; only one made it through the top 12 senatoriable candidates based on the partial counting. But in presidency, I’m optimistic that the lead of Noynoy Aquino will increase even more leaving Erap Estrada too far behind to even catch up.

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