Yes, true to my promise, I have registered and will take part in next year’s presidential elections. I will make my vote count 🙂
If you’re a first time voter, check this article on voter’s registration, although I can tell you now that all you really need is a photocopy of a valid ID. The COMELEC website has a downloadable form for first time voters but when I got to my district’s election office, I was asked to fill out their pre-stamped forms. Filling it out is easy, there are sample forms all over the place (at least there were in QC) but you can use the online copy to familiarize yourself with the information required.
If you’re from Quezon City and you’re planning on registering, here are my tips:
- Enter the City Hall compound from the East Avenue gate. The COMELEC offices are located past the construction site, SSDD and the Public Library. Be on the lookout because the signage is very small:
- Registration is per Congressional district. Yesterday, Distric IV looked busiest.
- The COMELEC team apparently goes mobile. They setup sattelite registration centers in the different barangays. Each district has it’s own schedule. It would be better to call COMELEC before your planned trip to City Hall so you’re sure that they will be there on that day. District II, for example, was closed at the City Hall for the day but only because they were busy at a specifc barangay (North Fairview if I remember correctly). They will be in our barangay on June 18 and 19 so if you’re from Barangay Kalusugan and you need to register, clear those dates and troop to our Barangay Hall with a photocopy of your valid ID.
- When you get there, give the personnel the papers required (if registrant is not yet 18, the birth certificate is needed). They will run your name on the COMELEC database and then give you the appropriate form. They should be able to determine if you’re a first time voter, or a transferee. First time voters need to fill out the white form.
- After filling out the form in triplicate, submit it to the personnel and wait. And wait. Apparently someone checks the form and will reject it if the wrong barangay is entered, or if the address doesn’t exist in their list. For example, I was called in because they said I may have made a mistake. According to their list, there is no 19th Street in Kalusugan. Er, duh? I had to tell them that we’ve lived in the area all my life, and that Papa (my grandfather) was the first chairman of our barangay so I couldn’t be wrong. I said that there’s 16th, 17th, 18th, and then 19th Street. They only had upto 18th Street. I described the map of the area for them. They took my word for it and approved my registration. I asked the personnel, “what about the others in our street?” All he could say was “siguro okay na rin” Ugh. My cousins are all registered in this address, they voted last time.
- I overheard that they don’t accept Barangay Clearance as a valid ID. The best ID would be a government issued one that shows your address too (like my TIN ID). Oh, that’s one loophole I noticed in the process – they don’t actually ask for the original ID, not even to just look at it. They were quite content with the photocopy I submitted.
- They have the Biometrics thingy there so be ready for your picture to be taken (don’t expect to see it though). There’s a finger print scanner too (thumb and index fingers only) and you give them a sample of your signature through a pen and a very small tablet. You don’t see your signature though because you do this behind the monitor, so you have no idea if it was captured correctly. You have no choice but to rely on your writing hand and trust that is having a good day and is signing your name properly. 😉
- After the biometrics scan, you take your form to another table, fill out what looks like an acknowledgement form (that has your name, barangay, and precinct number). Then you have to place your thumbmarks on all three copies of the application form. You have to do this in the presence of COMELEC personnel. Then they give you a small slip of paper that serves as acknowledgment that you have successfully registered to vote.
I hope someone finds this post useful 🙂
Go out and register to vote!
Credits for my layout: June Schutrups/Cen’s Stuff for the paper (altered), Misty Cato Spotty Dotty Alpha (freebie), and FeiFei’s designs for the brush used for the photo.