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19 May 2010

The First Fully Automated Election Experience

Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) Machine
May 10, 2010- Everyone was jittery. After all, this was the first time that the country was holding fully automated elections. I went around the polling places of Kidapawan City (my assigned area) not long after they opened. The throng of people impressed me. There were already long queues outside the clustered precincts.

 Early morning scene at a polling place in Kidapawan City.

 Rain didn't stop the people from casting their votes.

The PPCRV desks in polling places were a welcome relief for people who had no idea at all which precinct they belonged to. Those desks were manned by volunteers, some of whom were still too young to vote but were determined to make a difference in their own little way.

An early morning huddle at a PPCRV volunteers' desk.

They were early for a reason... they didn't know where to go, that's why.

I wonder if this ambulance became useful that day but it was a relief to see one nearby.

After going around several polling places, my next stop was the Kidapawan City Hall. I stood in awe in front of the huge structure. Even the parking lot was impressively large with nice landscaping.
Kidapawan City Hall's pretty facade

The City Board of Canvassers (CBOC) convened at the Session Hall at around mid-day for the initialization process . They reconvened at 6:00 p.m. to await the transmission of results. But since the voting was extended until 7 p.m., transmission was also delayed. I was blessed with 2 hours of sleep that evening before my cellphone started ringing. That was my cue to rush back to the session hall.

 The screen inside the session hall showed the transmission status of each polling place in Kidapawan  City.

Except for technical glitches on two PCOS (Precinct Count Optical Scan) machines in my area, the counting and canvassing went smoothly well. Two days later, the winning candidates in the city were proclaimed. My client's proclamation as new governor of the province was made soon after.

May 12, 2010 - When I finally got home, my son excitedly narrated his own experiences as a PPCRV volunteer here in Davao City. I felt a sense of pride as I listened, knowing how big and important a role the PPCRV played to ensure the success of the first automated elections in the country. Although I was away, we were in touch through sms during the entire process. That's short of saying I was constantly checking on him, worrying about the worst that could happen while he made his rounds.

 May 15, 2010 (Saturday) - As I promised my kids, we had a belated Mothers' Day celebration. Dinner treat at one of their favorite restaurants and a movie date (the super hilarious local movie entitled "Here Comes The Bride") at the cinema. We all went home with big smiles on our faces.

May 18, 2010 - 8 days after the local and national elections, all 12 senators have already been proclaimed. Hopefully, the proclamation of the apparent winner in the presidential race will also happen soon so we could all move on.

Today - It has been 19 days since the first fully automated elections here but it was one experience that my son and i will share forever. We have our I.D.'s to remind us that we both served important roles in this historic democratic process of the country.

Mabuhay ang lahat ng Pilipino!

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Sandee May 19, 2010 at 8:49 AM  

How very cool Bing. You both have every right to be proud.

Have a terrific day. Big hug. :)

Anonymous May 19, 2010 at 9:25 AM  

So exciting. And what a wonderful experience for you and your son. Pictures are great. A thrill of a life time.

Bing (PinkLady) May 19, 2010 at 5:19 PM  

thanks sandee. we both had a great time. :)

Bing (PinkLady) May 19, 2010 at 5:22 PM  

thom these pics were taken before i really got busy. as soon as canvassing started, there was hardly time to rest. i'm glad you like the pics and the post. :)

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