Expect long lines, hot and sweaty rooms and maybe disorganized Comelec. Here are some other annoyances I encountered (just a quick brain dump):
- The Comelec BEI and volunteers may be uncoordinated. I went to a waiting room at the first floor and got a number and was told to wait for my batch of 10 to be sent to the voting room at the second floor. After about an hour, we found out the voting room wasn’t aware numbers were being given out and had let some people start voting already. We went upstairs flailing like an angry mob and were fortunately given priority.
- People (i.e. idiots) keep trying to get ahead of people who were there before them, adding to the confusion. I was especially annoyed at a bunch of senior citizens who pushed ahead of us in line and saying they should be first because they were almost fainting from the heat. I understand that old people deserve some consideration, but even after they were told that they would be processed after the current people in line (about five people, including me) they still went ahead and basically forced the Comelec people to process them.
- Because there were a lot of idiots trying to get ahead, and of course the people in line being angry about the idiots, the Comelec BEI were quite flustered and themselves frustrated at the situation. They’re not used to handling this many people – I remember during previous elections it would take us twenty minutes tops to get in, fill up the ballot and be done. This time it took me about an hour once I actually got into the voting room.
- As a software engineer, I hate inefficiencies and there were quite a number in their procedures. The “book” of voter registration records for each precinct was needed in two queues – the one for getting the ballot and the one for putting the thumb print and indelible ink. So if you were in one queue and the voter book for your precinct was being used in the other queue… you’d have to wait! It seems they also
- PCOS machine glitches – happened twice, once before I went into the voting room and once while I was in line to put my ballot in. Apparently the machine only needed to be rebooted.
Overall it took me around 2 hours, including the stupid waiting period caused by #1. I cast the 26th ballot in my clustered precinct, I’m not sure how it’s possible to finish 1,000 voters at this rate.
Despite all the problems, don’t forget to thank the Comelec staff once you’re done, they’re overworked and underpaid, they could use the boost.
Good luck to those who have yet to vote, may your experience be smoother than mine.