December 6, 2022

While teachers are beset with a lot of tasks in school especially in this new normal, they play vital roles this coming elections. Recently, teachers who will serve as chair and poll clerks attended trainings to be equipped with the skills needed during the conduct of the election. These include use of the Vote Counting Machine (VCM) and handling of election paraphernalia, assistance to be extended to voters in need, etc.
Benguet is one of the most peaceful provinces in the country. Candidates shake hands when they meet each other along the campaign trail. They crack jokes and they can even be together during political rallies. Politicians never hold any firearms to protect themselves from their rivals. I never heard of political rivals who were involved in chaos or killed his opponents to ensure victory.
The tranquility of the place lessens the agony of teachers – the election task masters. Nevertheless, they are still beset with a lot of work. They have to be ready with a lot of challenges.
That’s where they apply the skills they learn during their training, the contingency procedures, how they handle vulnerable sectors. They have to know the pre-election and election processes, the final testing and sealing.
Thanks to the computerized poll system that makes the proclamation of winners within a span of hours. This also lessens the task of the working committee.
The only agony is in the transmission of election results. This was a frustrating experience in the past election. It took several hours for the board of election inspectors (BEI) to transmit results. This time, concerned companies should do something to make transmission faster.
We do not like to see BEIs waiting for so long or BEIs bringing the VCM to an area where Internet connectivity is stable, just to make sure that the results has been transmitted.
We remain steadfast in our belief that automation eliminates human manipulation of the election results, yet the multifaceted tasks and challenges of the election frontliners that are composed mostly of teachers remain. Unlike the winning candidates who will be congratulated soon, the task masters of the election will never be recognized and even criticized for a slight mistake. While they are the only ones being trusted to handle elections, respect should be given to them. (JONATHAN C. LAGAN)