Voting details

Published by rudy Date posted on May 2, 2010

VOTING DETAILS: Pass on these notes on election procedures for May 10 culled by Kenneth Yu from a seminar arranged by barangay captain Ralph Diaz (sorry, his barangay was not identified):

1. The ballot is very sensitive to marks, ink, water, stains, scratches, folds, sweat, etc. If, say, you have grime on your hands, or your fingers are wet, or your sweat drops onto the ballot, the PCOS (Precinct Count Optical Scan) unit will not read it. Keep your hands very clean before voting. That is why the indelible ink will be put on your finger after you have voted, and not before, and why you will be given your ballot in a folder — to lessen the actual handling of the ballot with your hands.

2. Shade FULLY the egg-shaped hole beside your chosen candidate (you will be provided with a marker). Don’t check, line, X, dot, or half-shade the oval, because the PCOS unit will not read wrong shading. Try not to go beyond the oval.

3. There will be a barcode on the ballot. If this is marked in any way, or scratched, the ballot will be spoiled. If anyone handles the ballot, watch him well, in case he scratches the barcode to spoil your ballot. For example, if you’re obviously for a candidate that, say, an unscrupulous precinct official does not like (hopefully, there’s no such precinct official), he/she may scratch your barcode to prevent your vote from being counted.

4. You will have four tries to put your ballot through the PCOS unit. You can insert it forward, backward, front side up, back side up, whichever, but only four tries. If after the fourth it doesn’t read properly, goodbye ballot.

5. You have one chance to have your ballot changed if you don’t like it. That’s when they first hand it to you. Inspect it right away. If you see folds, scratches, or marks, you can ask for another one (which may lengthen your voting process).

6. Bring a list (codigo) of your chosen candidates so you won’t spend too much time filling out the ballot. If you start weighing your choices only at the precinct, you could waste time.

7. You should mark only the exact number of choices. Vote for only one president, one vice president, not more than 12 senators, one party-list, one mayor, one vice mayor, one member of the House of Representatives, etc. The limit will be indicated on your ballot (as in “Vote for not more than __”). If you vote for more than the specified number, that portion of the ballot is invalidated. You may, however, vote for fewer than 12 senators.

8. Watch the readout on the PCOS unit when you insert your ballot. If successful, it’ll read, “Congratulations! Your ballot has been scanned.” If not, it’ll say why (“improper shading,” etc.) Get that “Congratulations” before leaving, to make sure your vote is counted.

9. Bring an ID (Voter’s ID is best. But if you don’t have one, present a driver’s license, passport, etc., any valid ID with your address and preferably a photo) to the Board of Election Inspectors. If you can find out beforehand through your barangay, get your Voter’s ID number, precinct number, and your sequence number (the number beside your name on the list). This will speed up your voting.

10. If you have Internet connection, visit today the Commission on Elections website ( and click the link to the “Precinct Finder” to find out if you are registered and what your Precinct No. is, and its location. If you discover any problem, you still have time to solve it.

11. The ballot given to you will only be readable by one specific PCOS unit. It’s pre-registered at your precinct, so when you’re ready, line up at the proper machine. If you line up at the wrong machine; your ballot won’t be read, and that may spoil your vote.

12. Polls open on May 10 at 7 a.m. and voting ends at 6 p.m. Come early to have time to solve any problem.

13. The PCOS units have internal batteries that can last 16 hours in case of power outages. Since the voting period lasts 10 hours, there’s a six-hour buffer.

14. The PCOS unit will print out the vote count in what looks like a very long cash register receipt (whose print will last for five years), which will be put into a sealed box and sent to the Comelec. The unit will count the voters based on the ballots inserted into it. Watch the screen for important messages.

15. Mr. Diaz stressed repeatedly that voter should not make mistakes. This may be asking a lot from us, but he said over and over: “Don’t make mistakes, otherwise, you’ll spoil your ballot.” –Federico D. Pascual Jr. (The Philippine Star)

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