Monday, 10 May 2010

Voted in the first Philippine automated polls

Thank God I went early today to my precinct to exercise my right to vote. I guess everyone was eager too because at 8:00am this morning, the place was already packed! There were long lines and people were going around a bit looking confused.
This is the first ever automated national elections in the Philippines which has been riddled with controversy from its inception until the last few days with computer glitches and last minute replacement of more than 76,000 faulty compact flash cards.
I waited in line for 1.5-hours to get my ballot which took me only 4-minutes to fill out and cast my vote.
In my cluster, there were three Board of Election Inspectors (BEIs) and one person manning the precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machine. The delay was caused by (1) the BEI who had to go through the master list manually to look for the voter's name, precinct and sequence number before handing out the ballot and (2) majority of the voters took longer than the estimated 8-min time frame to fill out the ballot. In some precincts, the delay was due to the malfunction of the PCOS and ballot feeding jams.
Despite the initial setbacks and the summer heat, I'm glad that about 75% of the 50 million registered voters participated in this year's election and the whole process was peaceful except for the usual hotspot areas.
Right now the results are trickling in with Aquino leading the presidential race with 5.8M vote (vs Estrada's 3.7M) and Binay leading the vice president with 5.8M votes (vs Roxas' 5.3M). I'm surprised that Erap Estrada, the ousted President in 2001 and convicted in 2007 is still popular.
By tomorrow, hopefully we will know who will seat in Malacanan. Noynoy Aquino insinuated earlier that he would call for People Power 3 if he does not win the elections or if the winners are not proclaimed.
Hope not! Apolinario Mabini said "Thou shalt not recognize in thy country the authority of any person who has not been elected by thee and thy countrymen; for authority emanates from God, and as God speaks in the conscience of every man, the person designated and proclaimed by the conscience of a whole people is the only one who can use true authority."

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