Here’s a voting guide for first-time voters as well as those still unfamiliar with automated elections in the Philippines.
A total of 67.5 million Filipino voters around the world – 65.7 million registered in the Philippines and 1.8 million overseas – are expected to go to the polling precincts on May 9, 2022, between 6 AM and 7 PM, and being prepared to vote would help make the process more efficient for everyone involved.
This election day is being held amidst the coronavirus pandemic and requires basic health protocols to be followed in addition to the voting process introduced in 2008 in regional elections and four times since then in general elections.
Here are the 9 steps to voting from the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) Vote Pilipinas guide:
STEP 1. Know your precinct location before going to the voting center.
The COMELEC Online Precinct Finder allows voters to find the location of their assigned voting precinct and check if their registration is on active status – which means they can vote on May 9.
Here’s how to use the precinct finder and where to get help when you cannot find your name or are on inactive status.
STEP 2. Have your temperature checked before entering the voting center.
The COVID-19 pandemic alert is still up and health protocol requirements apply to polling places. Wear your mask when you go to your voting precinct. Have your temperature checked as you arrive.
If your temperature registers at 37.4°C and below, you can proceed to your voting precinct.
If your temperature is 37.5°C and up even after resting a few minutes, you can still vote but will be led to an isolated polling precinct to avoid exposing others to your illness.
STEP 3. Go to the Voters’ Assistance Desk to give your name and be directed to the room where you can vote.
The Voters’ Assistance Desk (VAD) will verify your name, give your sequence numbers, and direct you to the room of your polling precinct.
STEP 4. Go to your room assignment and identify yourself to the Electoral Board by giving your name, precinct, and sequence numbers.
Go to your assigned room and introduce yourself to the Electoral Board by stating your name, precinct, and sequence numbers.
STEP 5. Get your ballot, ballot secrecy folder, and marking pen and fill out the ballot at the voting area.
Sign your name on the computerized voters’ list to receive your ballot. Check if your ballot is free of marks and tears. You can have the ballot changed if there are marks. Check if the COMELEC-provided marking pen is working.
STEP 6. Accomplish the ballot.
Accomplish the ballot using the COMELEC-provided pen to fully shade the oval appearing to the left of the name of the candidate you are voting for.
You can choose to vote for less than the maximum number of votes or not vote at all for a position. But do not overvote as this will invalidate your votes for that position.
- President: vote for 1 candidate
- Vice-president: vote for 1 candidate
- Senator: vote for a maximum of 12 candidates
- Member, House of Representatives: vote for 1 candidate
- Party-list: vote for 1 group
- Provincial Governor: vote for 1 candidate
- Provincial Vice governor: vote for 1 candidate
- Member, Sangguniang Panlalawigan (Provincial Board): Follow the ballot instructions as the number of seats vary per district.
- Mayor: vote for 1 candidate
- Vice Mayor: vote for 1 candidate
- Member, Sangguniang Bayan (Municipal/City Councilor): Follow the ballot instructions as the number of seats vary per municipality, city, or district.
NOTE: Do not take a photo of your ballot. This is an election offense.
STEP 7. Feed the ballot into the Vote Counting Machine (VCM).
You must be the only one to hold your ballot as you feed it to the VCM. Do not let others touch it to avoid stray marks or tears that will invalidate your ballot.
STEP 8. Check your voter’s receipt and then deposit it in the receptacle.
After you feed your ballot into the VCM, your voter’s receipt will be issued. Review if the receipt matches your votes list. If there is no issue, drop your receipt into the receipt box.
Do not take your receipt with you. Do not take a photo of the receipt. These are election offenses.
STEP 9. After you have accomplished steps 1 through 8, have your right forefinger nail stained with indelible ink.
Only after you have finished all the prior steps should you have the indelible ink mark stain your finger. Mark should be only your right forefinger and not any other finger.
SPECIAL SECTOR NOTE: Members of the vulnerable sectors of society – senior citizens, persons with disabilities (PWDs), and pregnant women – are given a priority lane after providing a valid government ID to the facilitator of the special precinct. Headphones can be provided to these voters so they can clearly hear and follow the VCM instructions for feeding the ballot.
Here’s a guide for overseas voters.
Congratulations! You have exercised your right to vote as a citizen of the Philippines. You may leave the precinct or choose to witness the tallying of the votes by the end of the voting day.
CHECK OUT THIS VIDEO of the step-by-step process for voting in the Philippines elections:
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