December 8, 2022

One of the primary reasons why voting is such a bore is because of the inconvenience it brings. The long line, the long list, the discourteous election officers, the endless questions and the unknown rooms where we may cast our votes are just among the problems that accompany the exercise of our right of suffrage.
Hence, it comes as no surprise that every time we finish voting, we are disgruntled, disgusted, disoriented, and tired, not because of the choice of the candidates that we made but because of the hurdles that we encountered at the polling places.
To minimize the stress that has become inherent in voting, there are practical solutions. Let me share it with you. I call it “what to do and what not to do when you elect.”
First, prepare a list of the candidates you are going to vote. There are only so much positions that need to be filled up in this election. There is the president, the vice president, 12 senators, one congressman, a mayor, a vice mayor, and 12 councilors. Filling up the ballot is not as simple as it seems since there are more than a hundred candidates.
Making the choice on the spot is both confusing and debilitating. The right candidates are not voted into office because some of the better ones are omitted due to the lack of a proper guide. So, if you want to expedite your time inside the polling place, for your benefit and for the benefit of the others waiting outside for their turn, and, if you want to truly vote for your intelligent choice, it will prove easier if you have a list that you can just copy. After all, there is no prohibition against kodigo during election.
Second, determine your polling precinct before going to the designated voting center where you are registered. The Comelec has a site where you can find your polling precinct number. Take advantage of this technological advancement to shorten the time you have to spend in the voting centers. Probably, one of the most inconvenient experiences in voting is looking for your designated room amidst the long line of people who are also looking for theirs. This can be avoided by knowing exactly where to vote. Remember, even during this election period, we are advised to avoid crowding. You can heed this advice by knowing before-hand where you are going to vote. By knowing your exact precinct, you can go directly without much ado about where else to proceed.
Third, go early. It is a proven fact that there are less people who vote when the polling centers are just opening. As time progresses, more voters flock. Besides, there is an advantage in voting early. Those who are manning the precincts are still fresh and entertaining. As the day grows weary, so will they and as they get tired and weary, assisting the electorate gets on their nerves, which, in effect, causes us to panic compelling us to rush and make the wrong choices. Moreover, many registered voters are not able to exercise their right of suffrage simply because they did not report early. Instead, they procrastinated. There is a saying that the “early bird gets the worm.” It is true in any endeavor and it is also true in this election.
Fourth, leave the polling place after casting your vote. The voting center is a melting point for people. Long lost friends and relatives whom we have not seen for the longest period of time are present there. It, therefore, becomes tempting to exchange pleasantries with them and debate about the differences of opinions we have concerning our choices. In the process, we deprive others of convenient spots where they may wait for their turn to vote. We unnecessarily crowd the area. Be considerate and give chance to others. Leave as soon as you have cast your vote. The polling place is not the right place to socialize with friends and relatives.
Finally, do not vote for any party-list candidate. The party-list system is so prostituted that those running under it are deceiving the people. There are as many party list candidates as there are alphabet soups. To list just one is a waste of time and a waste of vote. While it is true that the party-list system is constitutionally mandated, it is so absurd that the spirit of why it was recognized no longer exists. There is no meaningful party list that is representing a legitimate marginalized sector.
Besides, the nominees of these party list groups are millionaires who do not truly advocate the ideals of the people they are representing. If you look into it, it is really a joke though it is not funny.
There you are. Follow my suggestions and I assure you that voting will not be as stressful as it was. On the contrary, it will be fun and exciting especially if those whom you have voted for win.

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