Monday, May 10, 2010

My 2010 election experience - a tale of an almost disenfranchised

PCOS machine
My wife and I were at the polling precinct before 8am. We knew where the room was, we knew our sequence numbers, and we brought along a codigo of our choices. We were also aware that our precinct was clustered along with 4 others. We thought voting in this automated election will be a breeze. It wasn't. It was almost a frustrating exercise.

We went to the 2nd floor where our precinct is. The actual polling place (wehre the PCOS machine is) is on the first room on that building wing. Our cluster is made up of that precinct and the next 4 rooms. But voters are made to line up past to the next room where they give out numbers. Election helpers call out the numbers and the voters will transfer back to the 1st room to vote. Only up to 10 voters are admitted into the room.

Comelec again made a lapse in judgment. When they clustered precincts because to minimize the number of PCOS machines to be used, they should have allowed more than 10 voters at a time. In the manual era, when there was no clustering, they allowed 10 voters at a time. Today, with clustering - effectively making a precinct 5x as big as before, allowing only 10 at a time will naturally create long queues. I think they should let in 50 at a time. If 50 is deemed too big, then 25-35 is certainly better than 10.

Anyway, I finally got to the voting room after an hour and a half. I counted more than 20 markers on the watchers table, including the ones being used by the voters. There were also enough desks for the voters to use. Comelec could have allowed more than 10 at a time. Is there a plan to disenfranchise voters?  I finished marking my ballot in just over 2 minutes, carefully not marking outside the of oval shape. I heard comments that ballots with shading outside the oval are rejected by the PCOS. When the PCOS screen said "Congratulations!", I managed a smile despite the tiresome wait. I have done my part to change this administration.

2 comments:

  1. Hi Perry,

    Your number 1 fan is here again.... nice writings and all... to comment on your experience, mine was a breeze, compared to other horrendous stories of their automated election experience, I was in and out of our voting precinct in under 7 minutes.... Seems the PCOS machines in our precinct functioned well as expected...

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  2. The PCOS did well. The voting process was COMELEC's responsibility, not of Smartmatic as per Cesar Flores Zabarce. There are indeed many horrendous stories on the voting but they are soon forgotten as the results came in quickly. Overall, this a good experience for Pinoys.

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