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My first-time Voting Experience: I forgot to vote one partylist
I vividly remember how much I wanted to vote in the 2016 national election, but I am not a registered voter back then because I am not at the right age yet. That's why, when I turn 18 years old, I took advantage of the opportunity to register.
Now, after four years of being a registered voter, the year has arrived for the Philippines to elect a new set of government leaders to run the country. I can't express in words how excited I am to use my right to vote for the first time.
I'm literally preparing for the election on May 9th. I studied information on what a first-time voter should know about elections, as well as the directions and guide that I need to follow in order to cast my vote correctly.
D-DAY: PHILIPPINE NATIONAL ELECTION 2022
I woke up at exactly 5:00 a.m. yesterday. We voted early since my parents expected a long line if we arrived later in the afternoon. This is based on their experience, so I don't have much of a choice not to follow haha.
We arrived at our barangay's elementary school. My parents, siblings, grandmother, uncle, and auntie were with me but we were separated at school because we were assigned in different precinct numbers. My sister and I share the same precinct number, so we line up together. Later on, we noticed that one of our cousins, who shares our precinct number, had joined us instead of lining up alone.
Even though we arrived early, the line in our precinct was quite long already. So we still waited about an hour and a half just to cast our votes. I felt excited and anxious as I get closer to my allotted room.
I'm anxious because I'm imagining several awful scenarios in my head that I am hoping not to happen because I don't want to squander my vote.
All of these negative what ifs gone as soon as I came inside the room. I can't stop thinking about how crucial this vote is to my future.
The first thing I did when I entered the room was to introduce myself. The instructor looked for my name and required me to sign my singature. After that, she handed me the ballot, and I went to find a place to vote. At first, I sat near the poll watchers on the far side of the room, but then I remembered those posts about some of the unpleasant things that some poll watchers are doing, so I moved away from them just to be safe. As I sat down, I took out my prepared voting list from my pocket and began shading their names on the ballot.
I stood up and went in front of the voting machine as soon as I finished the process. I successfully cast my vote inside the VCM with the instructor's assistance, and then awaited the receipt. I checked the receipt as soon as I got it to make sure it was correct, but while I was reading it, the person next to me asked if there was only one partylist to vote on. After hearing that, I realized I had not voted for a partylist because I had failed to read the back page of the ballot. My receipt has the word "undervote" written beneath the party list. I am indeed a first-time voter haha.
But I move on and leave the room. We went home after my family finished voting.
I must say that my first time experience as a Filipino voter was a remarkable one, especially given the importance of this election. It will determine what happens in our country over the next six years, and these years will be crucial as we recover from the Covid 19 pandemic drought. Personally, the following six years will be a test in which I will determine my fate in the professional industry once I graduate from college this year. That is why, I want a government that provides work opportunities for everyone and can effectively manage the country. I am hoping that the president and other government officials who will be elected in this year's election are the ideal leaders for the job.