Tuesday, May 11, 2010

my candidates may have lost but i don't think my vote went to waste

at around 2:45 p.m. yesterday, i left the house to vote.

i had been basically glued to the television the entire morning. stories about the long queues and the machines breaking down, coupled with horror stories from my friends who had been in line for hours on end made me change my plans of voting the moment i woke up. i knew i was an impatient person and that i'd probably end up going home should the wait tire me out.

after i finished a couple of errands as well as the laundry, i got ready to vote. i armed myself with an umbrella, a fan, and a magazine, ready to brave the heat and the long wait. i even tried to list down my candidates (i ended up with one president, one vice, and two senators, and then i stopped - i realized i couldn't remember any of the other senators i initially said i'd vote for) so that i wouldn't stay too long in the clustered precinct.

i don't know if it was just cause of the time (it was too hot!) or cause of the news (of horribly long lines) or cause of efficiency (ganito kami sa las pinas) but i was in and out of the public school in less than ten minutes. and, mind you, 5 of those 10 minutes were spent looking for my precinct since i had inadvertently forgotten to write down my precinct number after i looked it up online. my bad.

after i was handed the ballot, i must admit that my hands were shaking a bit. there was part of me that was afraid i might over-shade the circle, rendering my ballot useless. it was also windy in my precinct and i was afraid that the wind might crumple my ballot. and, i had forgotten to bring tissue to make sure the ink from my thumb won't smudge the ballot so i was scared of that too.

i was short of the 12 senators i was entitled to vote for, and i had mistakenly voted for councilor who wasn't in my mayor's party so i ended up not being able to vote for his last candidate (sorry!) since i was only entitled to 6. and while there was a bit of a tug-of-war in my mind whether to change my vote for president and vice, in the end i voted for those whom i felt would be able to do the job well best. as early as yesterday i knew they wouldn't win, but i didn't care. in my mind, there's no such thing as sayang na boto. that's why we have one each.

from all the negative press about the automated elections, now it's all about how fast the elections were, how losers didn't even get the chance to allege cheating, how this is the way things are supposed to be. of course there were glitches -- i think that was to be expected -- but the biggest glitches it would seem are these: (1) that while he's a far second, erap is still a major choice for a lot of filipinos; and (2) our next vice-president might be binay after all.

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