Things to Keep in Mind Heading Into the 2019 Midterms Election

Midterm Elections may not have the drama and narrative like that of a Presidential Election, but it’s nonetheless an important time for Filipinos to make their vote count.  With over 18,000 electoral posts up for grabs, and with national issues such as charter change and national security hanging in the balance, the votes that will be casted on Monday will create a ripple effect that will be felt, almost certainly, beyond the next three years.

Election 2019 by the numbers

  • 12 senators
  • 59 party-list representatives
  • 243 district representatives
  • 81 governors
  • 81 vice governors
  • 780 provincial board members
  • 145 city mayors
  • 145 city vice mayors
  • 1,628 city councilors
  • 1,489 municipal mayors
  • 1,489 municipal vice mayors
  • 11,916 municipal councilors
  • 1 ARMM regional governor
  • 1 ARMM regional vice governor
  • 24 ARMM regional assemblymen

There are 51 male candidates and 11 female candidates vying for a spot at the senate this year, led by seven reelectionists. Overall, a little over 80% of the candidates this year are male, while less than 20% of the aspirants are female.

Reminders on Election Day

The voting precincts will open at 6 a.m. and close at 6 p.m. Before then, it’s important to prepare your list beforehand as it can get hectic on the election day itself.

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) may also choose to extend voting hours under certain circumstances, but it’s best not to count on that and try your best to come in early. Remember, though, that while the process is now mostly electronic, there’s no avoiding queues and delays on site. At worst, expect your patience to be tested, but keep an open mind.

If you have a disability, you are encouraged to bring a companion and are welcome to ask assistance from the election workers who are on stand by at your polling place.

There’s also a limit on the number of candidates you can vote for each post:

  • Senator – maximum of 12 candidates
  • House of Representatives – maximum of 1 candidate
  • Mayor – maximum of 1 candidate
  • Vice mayor – maximum of 1 candidate
  • Party-list – maximum of 1 group

For other regional positions, it will be indicated on the ballot how many names are allowed to be casted. While going over the limit may render the vote invalid, the voter isn’t required to fill the ballot as suggested.

Check sample ballots here.

The voting procedure

Verification – Upon arrival, you will need to identify yourself. To start, look for your name on the voter’s list at polling precinct. Once you confirm the room that’s been assigned to you by The Comelec. In some areas, the commission will debut its voter registration verification machine (VRVM), which uses a fingerprint scanning technology to verify the identity of the voter.

Voting – After this, head on to the designated room and acquire your ballot from the board of elections inspectors (BEI) chairperson. You may be asked to present your voter’s ID this time. Once verified, they will provide the marker and secrecy folder you will use when casting your vote. While, voting, keep in mind that using your phone can be considered as an election offense. If you absolutely need a list, use a piece of paper instead.

When done, it’ll be your responsibility to insert your ballot to the vote-counting machine (VCM). Do not let others insert the ballot on the VCM on your behalf, unless you are physically unable to do so.

Confirmation – Following this, the machine will then process your ballot and will provide a receipt. The poll clerk will then mark your finger with indelible ink and let you review the voting receipt.

This will be your only time to check for inconsistencies, so don’t be afraid to take your time. If the receipt incorrectly reflects your vote, head to BEI to file a complaint. Otherwise, you will need to surrender the receipt to the BEI before exiting the room.

Go out and vote

With the election less than a week away, it’s the perfect time to review the local candidates thoroughly and solidify your list from top to bottom. There may be more than 61 million registered voters this year, but your lone vote can still make a world of difference when it’s all said and done. So, go out and vote!

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