This morning - I woke up nervous and excited.
I immediately checked on my Plurk and Twitter accounts for updates.
As early as 11am - reports of PCOS machines failing have been on the radio, tv and social networks on TV. This honestly got me worried.
When I got to the precinct - I immediately looked for my name on the list, checked my cluster and asked the PPCRV volunteers for the precinct number. They were ready with a map to show me where in the baranggay hall it was located. As I entered the baranggay hall, I first noticed the long lines, followed by the number of people from all walks of life, followed by an observation that - it wasn't like this in the past elections where people were seated down rather than standing up. As I reached my precinct's table - I was shocked. I then gave my SSS id to the person in charge - she then searched for my name. Honestly - this took the longest as she was looking at the wrong list! It turns out that she thought my middle name was my last name! Tsk.. Tsk.. But right after figuring out her oversight - she then made me sign their 'list' and handed me my ballot, a short brown envelope, and the Smartmatic pen.
I remember reading numerous articles saying that the ballots should be clean and free from stains. I immediately inspected my ballot and found that there was a pen smear at the end of my ballot. I showed this to the election officer but was told this 'Okay lang po yan! Walang problema!' I then found a seat and marked the ballot with my votes. It took me less than 5 minutes to complete my ballot. Once I was done - I gave my ballot to the election officer - he then returned it to me and told me to feed it to the PCOS machine, when the machine fed my ballot, I waited for a few seconds for the result on the small screen - I sighed in relief when I saw that my ballot was accepted!
Total time spent: 15 minutes.
I think I was very lucky.
My heart does go out to those who fell in line for hours just to vote. Each and everyone who did just that deserves a huge THANK YOU from the government and Comelec. These people who waited did not falter - they wanted to exercise their right to vote! And they did.
We're all now waiting for the results.
COMELEC says that 50% of the results will be in by midnight tonight!!
So, we're all hanging on!!
I think the automation was fairly successful - I can't and will never say very successful because there were a lot of PCOS machines that broke down. Let's also not forget the CF cards fiasco days before election day!!