May 9, 2022, marks one of the most controversial Presidential elections for the Philippines. The COMELEC reported 67 million registered voters, the highest in history so far. Out of the 67 Million, 37,015,901 falls under the 18 to 41 years old bracket.
With this, many are first-time voters. So what should you do during the election? Here’s a step-by-step guide to voting in the Philippine elections.
Check if Your Eligible
Have you checked your eligibility for voting? You should! Because the last thing you want is going to the wrong polling place or worse, finding you’re inactive on election day.
You can check the new Precinct Finder to confirm your status. Your voting status will be inactive when you didn’t vote for 2 consecutive regular elections.
If you still have an inactive status despite voting in the past elections, you can visit your local Comelec office to verify your status.
Precincts are open starting 6 AM up to 7 PM. But with the influx of voters, it’s better to be as early as possible. A Voter Counting Machine (VCM) can process only 1000 voters. With the increase in voters, you wouldn’t know how the lines would fair up in the later hours.
Step 1: Health Screening
We are still in a pandemic. Safety should be the top priority. So you must wear a face mask on the voting site. Also, you should bring your vaccination card to enter the premises. If you aren’t vaccinated yet, a negative RT-PCR test is required.
Upon entering, you will encounter a health screening procedure to check for your temperature and symptoms, if any. If you display COVID symptoms, you will be escorted to an isolated voting area, where you can still cast your vote.
Otherwise, you will be asked to go to the Voter’s assistant desk (VAD).
Step 2: Go to the Voter’s Assistant Desk
In the Voter’s Assistant Desk, you can get your precinct number, queue number, and room. For voters who need further assistance like persons with disabilities, you can be accompanied by a companion while voting.
Step 3: Present Yourself Before the Electoral Board
The next step is verification by the electoral board. You just need to state your name, precinct, and sequence number to them.
Step 4: Get Your Ballot, Ballot Secrecy Folder, and Marking Pen
After verification, you can now get your ballot, ballot secrecy folder, and marking pen. Take note that you can only use the items given to you. You don’t need to bring your own pen.
Also, you should not fold or crumple the ballots.
Step 5: Go to the Voting Area
Now, it’s time to vote. Go to the voting area and accomplish the form. Make sure to shade the ovals fully to be counted.
Step 6: Insert the Ballot into the Vote Counting Machine (VCM)
After accomplishing the form, just insert it into the Vote Counting Machine (VCM).
Step 7: Check the Receipt
After feeding the form to the Vote Counting Machine, a receipt will show who you voted for. Double-check the names if it reflects the right candidates. If not, you can report it to the Board of Election Inspectors to complain.
If the receipt matches, you can drop off the receipt in the voting receipt box. Take note; you are not allowed to bring your receipts outside the precincts for voting secrecy.
No Photos Please
We all want to show the world that we’ve voted. But it’s not allowed to take photos of your ballot. It’s to protect voters from vote buyers and to uphold secrecy in their choices. Make sure to uphold this to avoid your vote to be invalidated.
Step 8: Indelible Ink
After checking your receipt, your right forefinger will be stained with indelible ink. This marks that you have finished voting already.
Congratulations on voting this year. I hope you practice your right to suffrage by voting wisely. Cheers to a better Philippines!