Out of 61.8 million registered voters in the country, 2.1 million are voting for the first time. Most of these first-timers surely have questions, and we’re here to compile a simple step-by-step procedure on what to do.
May 13 is declared a special non-working holiday for the 2019 elections, so take advantage of the whole day by casting your votes, and helping make a big difference. Your decision counts!
Read on, and don’t forget to bookmark this page!
Step 1: Make a list
Before election day, make sure to prepare a list of who to vote. You can write them on a piece of paper and bring it with you at the voting area. This is to avoid mistakes or accidental markings which may be read by the vote-counting machine (VCM). Also, bringing campaign materials is extremely prohibited.
Still not sure on who to vote? You can check out COMELEC’s Certified List of Candidates online, or read up on our list of online resources that can help you. Use them as guides to research on who deserves to be on your list. Remember, you only get one chance to vote, and your ballot counts.
Step 2: Find your voting precinct
On the day of the election, voting precincts will be open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Look for your name on the voters’ list posted by your polling precinct to know which room you are assigned to. Once you find your name, you can approach the board of elections inspectors (BEI) inside the room for verification. Bring an identification card (ID).
In case you’re still waiting for your turn at 6 p.m., you can still vote as long as you are 30 meters from the polling place.
Step 3: Get your ballot
After verifying that you’re a registered voter, the BEI will hand you the following: ballot, marker and ballot secrecy folder. You don’t need to bring your own pen, since the COMELEC’s marking pens are officially designated for ballots and VCMs.
Step 4: Cast your vote
As indicated in your ballot, you’ll be asked to vote for the following positions:
Senator: 12 candidates
House of Representatives (Congressman): 1 candidate
Mayor: 1 candidate
Vice mayor: 1 candidate
Party-list: 1 group
Remember: do not shade more than what is indicated, as this can invalidate your vote. However, you can choose to abstain, or choose less than the required number of votes. Take all the time you need.
Step 5: Insert your ballot in the vote-counting machine (VCM)
After voting, approach the BEI and hand them the ballot, ballot secrecy folder and the marker pen. They will assist you in inserting your ballot in the VCM. Wait for the machine to read your ballot.
Step 6: Have your finger marked with indelible ink
Once the machine has accepted your ballot, a poll clerk will mark your finger with indelible ink as proof of you voting. Don’t leave just yet, wait for the VCM to issue a voting receipt.
Step 7: Wait for your voting receipt so you can double-check your vote
Once you got your voting receipt, double check if it reflects what you indicated in your ballot.
Step 8: Drop your receipt in the voting receipt box
If the voting receipt matches the names you voted for, you can finally drop it on the voting receipt box.
You can take a photo of your inked finger, but remember to do it outside the polling place. Congrats! You’ve done your part as a good citizen!
To help you choose the right candidate, watch our official election video here.
How are you preparing for the election day? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!