I’m A Registered Voter… Now What?
Aug 17, 2021
First of all, congratulations on getting yourself registered!
Voting is one of your constitutional rights as a citizen of the Philippines, and is your civic duty as a member of this good nation. Ever heard of the saying “every vote counts?” That’s right, it’s your responsibility as part of the community to contribute to how you envision the Philippines a few years down the line.
The act of voting is an equalizer. In the eyes of the law, the weight of each vote is equal so let your voice be heard – otherwise, someone else will decide your future for you. But registration is only half the battle. Well, more like a fourth. There’s still plenty that stands between you, today, and then, the day of the election.
And we’re here to take you through it.
First, check your registration.
It’s important to check your registration too, and ensure there’s no error whatsoever… like your name being misspelled or having your old address listed as your current one. Make sure to go through your details ASAP – that way, if you find a mistake, you still have time to rectify it.
One of the pitfalls of voters is thinking they’re registered when they’re not. Did you know that if you weren’t able to vote for the past two elections – local and national – you’ll be tagged as “inactive” and have to register again?
Next, educate yourself.
“An informed voter makes an informed choice.” Don’t neglect your research! Look into the candidates, their political parties, as well as their proposed initiatives. Are they competent? Credible? What kind of leadership experience have they had? Have they implemented any programs or policies? Ask the basic questions – and more. You’re about to select the future leaders of an entire country, it’s okay to be nitpicky.
Try to understand their platform and priorities, and see where they stand on certain issues. Do the candidate’s values align with yours when it comes to education? Sustainability? Women and children’s rights? Get to know their views when it comes to the bigger, more difficult conversations. Keep yourself updated on the latest election news by following – or at least regularly checking the relevant bodies and platforms for any announcements.
Visit the party’s official website, tune in to their TV interviews, and watch political debates and discussions among candidates. Make use of the different sources of information available at your disposal – broadcast, radio, social media – to help you paint the bigger picture and evaluate your options before coming to a decision.
Third, check for any updates on election rules and regulations.
Prior to voting day, confirm whether there are any changes in the voting rules and regulations. The requirements may vary for different precincts. In particular, first time voters should be made aware of any documents they may need to present on the day itself to be able to vote, such as a valid government ID.
Check your assigned precincts, too! Avoid any confusion on the day itself by verifying whether any new arrangements have been made regarding precinct groupings.
And finally, cast your vote.
The last thing to do is, of course, to cast your vote! By now, you’ve done your due diligence and completed the legwork a.k.a. research leading up to election day, it’s highly likely you’ve come up with a list of candidates who you see fit to be the next set of leaders.
The lines on election day can get pretty long, so if you’re not big on waiting, it might be in your best interest to come early. Look for your name on the voter’s list at your assigned precinct and, once verified, exercise your right to vote. Keep the following in mind, though: fill in the circles properly and don’t over-vote. Incorrect shading and going over the maximum will invalidate your ballot so stay within the lines and don’t forget to count!
Jose Rizal once said the country’s future lies in the youth; now, more than ever, does your participation as a Filipino matter. Voting gives you a say on important issues that affect you – or may affect the generations to come after you.
And if you’re not yet registered to vote, go register now! Kung hindi ngayon, kalian pa?
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