10 Things First-Time Voters Should Remember

Exercising your right to vote for the first time on Monday? Here are some tips we've gathered to help you out.
by Macy Alcaraz   |  May 6, 2010
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  1. Get to know your candidates. Still undecided on who to vote for? Here's a website you can check to look at the candidates for president, vice president, and senators. (via Smartparenting.com.ph)
  2. Find your precinct. There's a precinct finder on the Comelec website, but if you're a first-time voter, you might not find your name on the list yet. It's best to visit your local municipal office to check where your precinct is.
  3. Come on time. Voting period on May 10 is from 7am to 6pm. It won't take more than 15 minutes of your time to vote. We suggest coming early so you won't end up rushing.
  4. Bring a valid ID. The board of election inspectors will check your identity before giving you your ballot. Make sure your ID has your photo and signature.
  5. Have a kodigo. It's not counted as cheating. It's actually better to list down the candidates you've chosen so that when you get to the voting precinct, you're all set to shade your ballot. Here's a list of candidates for president, vice-president, senators, and party list.
  6. Practice makes perfect. There's a sample form you can download from the Philippine Daily Inquirer's website that you can practice shading. Remember that a partially shaded oval is not going to be counted. Here are tips on how to accomplish your ballot from the Comelec website.
  7. Comelec will provide. After being verified, you will be given a ballot secrecy folder and marking pen to mark your ballot with.
  8. Handle with care. Your ballot should not have unnecessary marks apart from the shaded ovals for your candidates. Don't fold or get your ballot wet. All of these things can invalidate your ballot.
  9. Do it yourself. You will be the one to feed your ballot into the PCOS machine. Wait until your vote reflects on the PCOS screen to make sure your ballot has been accepted.
  10. Get inked. After you've voted, have your fingernail inked by the BEI chairman with indelible ink. This is a sign that you've already voted! You will also be asked to affix your thumbprint on the Election Day Computerized List of Voters.
So go out on May 10 and be counted. Your vote matters!
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About the author
Macy Alcaraz
Former Editor in Chief, candymag.com
When she's not busy online, she's in the kitchen on a mission to make the world a better place one bite at a time.
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