Do you know how to vote? You think marking a small circle is a simple enough task?
As a member of Rappler Plus, I was invited to attend a voting workshop that Rappler organizesd with the Commission on Elections on Thursday, April 11, 2pm onwards at the Rappler headquarters. Director James Jimenez together with the Education and Information Department took the participants the actual process of voting – from the counting process up to feeding them onto the vote-counting machines and vote counts. Unfortunately, I was in Singapore that time but I watched the livestream. Here is Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez as he shows how one can use vote-counting machines (VCMs) in the upcoming May elections
Lilibeth Frondoso summarized 9 things she learned from this very enlightening demo.
1. You cannot overdo marking the circle beside the name of the candidate of your choice (unless you happen to mark another circle for another candidate). Jimenez quipped, “This is not a coloring book.” Go for 100% or even 105%. The machine is wired to recognize your intent, but it may not recognize a small dot or line that is less than 25% of the circle.
2. Bring water. It will be a long line and elections are in the middle of a very hot summer. But don’t get your ballot wet.
3. No need to bring a pen. Precincts have marking pens. But be sure to return then and don’t take them home.
4. What changed from past elections? There’s now a fingerprint scanner.
5. You cannot go beyond the designated number of senators – which is 12. Same for positions like counsellors. Your votes will be counted if you voted for less than 12 senatorial bets, for example, but they will be voided if you voted for more than 12.
6. You cannot do a “take 2” with a new election ballot. It’s 1:1.
7. You can feed the ballot into the machine any way you want. There’s no wrong way.
8. Taking a photo of your ballot on election day is prohibited.
9. If the receipt doesn’t match what you remember of your vote, you can lodge a complaint before the board of election inspectors.