Days leading up to the elections, everybody was trash talking about the COMELEC and SMARTMATIC because they're not prepared and they've been cramming to get all the PCOS machines to the liblib places in the Philippines. It's kind of funny actually. I had my own qualms about the automated elections as well. My Mom and I were a bit wary about the machines failing and the machines overheating because of the heat.
But come May 10, 2010 the day of reckoning has finally come! Our helper was the first to go the our precinct over at the former Makati High School (it's not called something else). When she came back she reported that there was this REALLY long line. So Mom and I decided to just go after lunch.
When we got there after lunch, making sure we were full, and brought along adequate water, the line was still as long as EDSA. And the heat added to the already more-than-worse situation. We got there at around 12.20PM. The line would inch slowly forward. It was a good thing that the Makati people thought of putting chairs for the voters to sit on while waiting.
What's actually cool about this was that people weren't hotheaded. Despite the heat and super long line, people were actually joking. I guess Filipino people are naturally happy folks. It was entertaining to hear the bantering. Here are pictures of the lines for each precincts. I felt like we were all just playing musical chairs, except that there was no music. Every 20 minutes or so we had to move from one chair to the next. And if there were no chairs left, you'd have to stand and wait for your turn haha!
The Makati COMELEC people and volunteers really organized the whole thing. We had 3 lanes for the clustered precincts (around 5-6 precincts for every cluster), so upstairs in the classrooms there were 3 holding rooms. The volunteer from the holding rooms would have to shout at the volunteers holding the "traffic". The volunteers downstairs are the ones who let the people up, depending on how many the volunteers upstairs would call out. It was a smooth run! Congrats to the MAKATI COMELEC people for a job well done! :)
We got up to the holding room at around 3.40PM. It's actually much faster once you get to the holding room. By 4PM I had already gotten that long-ass ballot. I was so excited to finally experience the first Philippine automated elections! It was soooo cool I swear! And the voting process took like 10 minutes!
We were finally out of the high school by 4.15PM. We were tired and sweaty. But it was a cool experience. Although I must say I miss the old manual process because there was no line whatsoever! Hopefully by next elections, it would be orderly!
Anyway here are some of the pictures I took while voting! :)
Mom waiting for her confirmation message at the PCOS machine
Voting for MY President: Gibo Teodoro :)
Yipee!! Our first automated elections was a success...in Makati anyway! :p