Saturday, May 19, 2007

Cheated of My Vote

Last May 14, I dutifully trooped to Miriam College to vote with my Dad and my sister. My husband went off to Marikina to do the same. I was armed with a well-researched roster of candidates. I even brought a print-out of my eco-friendly senatorial bids which I had gotten from the website. I was fresh from an argument with my Dad over who to vote for. I insisted to him that he shouldn't just vote for people who would surely win. If it were a choice between the lesser of two evils, then what was the point? Why not go the whole nine yards and vote for the people who represent your issues and concerns? I was beaming with a small victory as he conceded on one vote. On the way to the polls, my sister also reminded me that several years back I had dragged her to an elementary school in Philcoa as a volunteer for Namfrel. I skipped a crucial date with my then-boyfriend to volunteer. She concluded that it was one of the reasons why we broke up later on.

So, given all my enthusiasm, my research, my passion for participating in this political space... what a huge let-down to find out that my name and my family's names were mysteriously erased from the master list (and all other lists) in the precinct. We were so disappointed. I couldn't believe it. We ran into Fr. Bernas and he too had the same problem. Though, this election was relatively peaceful, my situation reminded me of how unreliable "the system" is.
I have been voting since 1998. I am a tax-paying citizen trying to do my duty. The least I expect is a decent filing system that will not mysteriously "lose" my name. And not just my name but the names of my family members as well.

I wrote an e-mail to the Comelec. I wonder if they will respond. I wonder if this is all worth the effort. I don't want to go through the hassle of registering again. Aren't you supposed to just register ONCE?

And still I believe in staying here, in contributing in whatever way I can. I guess I'll just have to find other ways.

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