Here is a list of simple dos and don’ts to help make the process of voting as painless and seamless as possible. Share this with your family and friends. These tips came from then Dean Andy Bautista who is now the COMELEC Chairman:
A. Before Election Day
1. Before the voting day, re-check your name in the precinct where you will be voting. You may do this online by logging on to www.comelec.gov.ph. Double check as well the physical location of the polling place as to make sure it has not been moved.
2. If a “kodigo” is a no-no in school, well it is highly encouraged in an election, particularly an automated election which involves a kilometric ballot. Indeed, you should already write the names and/or numbers of the candidates you will be voting for even before you head for the polling place.
3. For the technologically challenged, it might make sense for you to practice shading before election day. There are sample ballots available for this purpose. Remember that the Comelec has adopted a “no return-no exchange” policy with respect to official ballots so you cannot afford to make a mistake.
4. Be prepared to fall in line and wait. In this regard, make sure you are sufficiently nourished and hydrated. To persevere, you should always carry the thought that your vote will determine the outcome of the election.
B. On Election Day
1. Wear loose, comfortable clothing to the polling place. However, you may not be allowed to vote if you wear any clothing or paraphernalia which can be considered partisan in nature.
2. You may vote anytime from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., the extension of time designed to enable 1000 voters in clustered precincts to vote. In this respect, I trust that the Comelec did their homework insofar as time and motion studies are concerned. But as earlier advised, I suggest that you vote early as long lines may form towards the latter part of the day. A long line coupled with the sweltering heat we have all been experiencing the past few weeks may deter and discourage the faint hearted (literally and figuratively) from voting.
3. You will be provided a ballot, (the infamous) ballot secrecy folder and marking pen by one of the teachers who comprise the Board of Election Inspectors (BEI). FULLY shade the oval beside the name of the candidates and party list of your choice. Remember you may UNDERVOTE (e.g., vote for less than 12 senators or not vote for a party list) but not OVERVOTE (i.e., vote for more than 12 senators) as this will result in your ballot being invalidated.
4. After accomplishing the ballot, the voter shall then insert it inside the PCOS machine which is designed to scan, record and photograph the ballot. In this regard, the voter should be careful that the ballot is not CRUMPLED, STAINED OR DEFACED in any major way. The voter should make sure that the ballot is successfully accepted by the machine. The ballot will then be dropped in a translucent ballot box.
5. The BEI chairman shall then apply indelible ink on the right forefinger nail of the voter.
6. The voter shall then affix his or her thumbmark on the space beside his or her name in the book of registered voters.