How to Make That One Vote MATTER: Counting Down the Obvious

I VOTED! Life must go on.

I VOTED! Life must go on.

I’ll never start my blog entry with this cliche “Every vote counts.” Never.  Nor will I pronounce, “One vote can make a change.” Besides, I hate, read this–I H-A-T-E talking about politics.  If there’s any change in the political situation, especially during the election, here in the Philippines (okay, I’ll trim it down), well, in our town, that is the surge of unwanted candidates and the rise of the traditional politicians who promise the same platform over and over again. And that is not a change at all, right?  I have lost my faith in politics, just because I keep hearing infringed political jingles that cry a thousand obscene adjectives that I can think of.  It depresses me.  Politics is a dirty sport and overhearing convos about tactics by these politicians drive me to puke. Thus, I decline to hear those talks.  And I turn to my own conscience: who to vote and why I must vote.  And of course, I would never disclose it here.  But I have high hopes that everything will turn out to be, well, to borrow my student’s own wish–INSPIRING.

This day, May 13, marks the midterm elections, wherein every Filipino cast his or her vote for the 12 senators, the members of the House of Representatives, party list, the provincial board members, mayors, vice-mayors, and municipal councilors .  When this historical moment comes, inevitable incidents and glitches also occur, adding more color to its being historical. The media covers every ambush, every fraud, every hullabaloo that rises out of this political circus. And the people (including the senior citizens, the heavily pregnant women and even the prisoners) fall in line to make their votes matter (that is if they haven’t bought their votes to the entities who sneaked in their houses the night before).

SO, here are the election situations early morning when I myself fell in line to cast my own vote.  The precincts opened at seven o’clock, but when I got there at exactly seven o’clock, this is what I found myself into:

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Let the Election Begin. The sky tells it all. A wisp of cloud cants right through the Philippine flag.

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The First Step: Once you’re a registered voter, you have to look for your name in the list to find out your precinct number. You’ll need to scan through the long list and thus patience is a must. Just don’t forget your number or else you have to return and take the step again.

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Line Starts HERE. I don’t think so…

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The Poll Tries Your Patience. Indeed. Falling in line requires heavy patience during the elections. It has been a problem ever since I became a voting citizen. Oh, how I look forward to that day when I don’t need to endure all these.

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Classrooms as Poll Precincts. Yes. Obviously, we all vote in an elementary school and one room is turned into a voting place. Three precincts in one room. That answers the heavy line above.

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The Teachers as BEIs (Board of Election Inspectors). Their role extends outside teaching. And yes, it’s still a noble thing to serve in the poll precincts. Only if some really really perform their duty well. As BEIs that is.

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Getting Inside the Precinct. State your precinct number, voter’s number and then sign. Easy.

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Inside this Folder. Will be voting the rightful candidates. I kept in my mind my rainbow friends. And oh, I did not just stand straight. I voted STRAIGHT.

I heaved a sigh of relief after the PCOS machine accepted the ballot.

OK. I’m done. Gotta wait for the result when it closes later at seven in the evening.  I will just keep my fingers crossed. I voted “servants” whom I think are deserving of my vote. I count myself in.  For whatever happens after this, I took part in this historical moment. And my vote mattered.

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