(Courtesy of mycutegraphics.com)
1. People were setting up the (two) voting booths by 6:15 AM. (I was there by 6:10 AM.) I was also informed that I could vote by 7AM.
2. After grabbing a quick coffee from the convenience store just a few steps away from the clubhouse/gym, I came back to find two separate lines forming.
3. There were no labels what people were lining up for. Nagbabaka-sakali lang, said one person I asked. Great, let's leave everything to chance, haha.
4. I was the 5th person in line for the first line. (From what I remember ever since I started voting, people in my parents' village ALWAYS come here early to do their duty.)
5. We were told that the official list containing qualified voters has not arrived. And the person holding it was supposedly wading in floodwaters to get to where we are. Time check: 7:18 AM.
6. Various know-it-alls trying to suggest this and that, while election officers look helpless and dumbfounded because the lines were starting to snake.
7. Person with official list shows up, looking harassed and all sweaty. It turns out, she had just come from another place to deliver their list, and was also headed elsewhere after our place to deliver another list. Time check: 8:10 AM.
8. Officer in charge acts immobile, unsure whether she should put up the list on boards so people can just check their names, or whether she should entertain those lined up - which she asked everyone to do - on a first come first serve basis. Crowd gets antsy, not knowing why she keeps staring into a little booklet when the list is right in front of her, on the table.
9. Guy officer decides to post the duplicate list on boards, while woman officer stays put. People already lined up have no choice but to ask others in line to hold their place while checking for the correct precinct to line up for. I was in the wrong line, and had to move to the other booth's also lengthy line. Guess some of us early birds were being punished for being too eager to vote - now we had to line up behind those who decided to come in past 8 AM.
10. Woman bellows out that senior citizens get priority in voting. I looked at those who fit that description, and the median age seemed to be 75. This did not help the crowd feel elated. I wonder why.
11. Thankfully, in my line, seniors lined up as they came. I was able to exit the voting booth and saw some people in my original line still waiting to vote because the seniors there kept coming intermittently, holding up the (non seniors) line repeatedly.
12. I was NOT asked to present identification, even though I had my driver's license ready. I also did not have a picture in the official list of voters. While I was in line, only one girl was asked to produce identification; strangely, she had a picture in the list.
13. Since there were only two booths, we had to make do with squeezing in a small space, all 10 of us at a time. There were married couples who entered the booth at the same time.
Married couple 1, husband: Who should I vote for as party list?
Married couple 1, wife: number 135! Buhay party list! Father __________ said that's who we should vote for! Buhay! There! There! (Wife starts furiously pointing where husband should shade. Secrecy folder rendered useless.)
14. Married couple 2, wife: who didn't you vote for senator?
Married couple 2, husband: Don't vote for Pimentel! He had a divorce! No, no, no to divorce!
15. Election officer thinks my finger is a blank canvass, and proceeds to POUR the indelible ink. Liberally. Time check: 9:17 AM.