I could have come up with the edgy title "Rage Against The Machines" for this post, but Conrado de Quiros beat me to it. The Philippines' first-ever automated nationwide elections proved to be historical with the introduction of the PCOS (Precinct Count Optical Scan) machines. What used to take days upon days of manual ballot-counting and sheets of manila paper now took only a few touches of the button and even less paper. Also, the need to decipher hieroglyphic handwriting on the ballots is obliterated, now you need only shade circles.
The lines, however, were terrible. My aunt and I arrived at the polling station around 8AM. The voters were herded into a confused cluster of queues which made the wait time extend to three hours, perhaps even more for some unfortunate ones. Three hours under the sun in order to shade circles for three minutes. Oh the suffering entailed by exercising the right of suffrage!
But that's not all! We didn't have electricity since five in the morning that day. What a convenient time for a power outage! Batteries aren't PCOS' best friend, it causes it to overheat! As if its technological tantrums aren't enough!
People tried to keep their cool and their sense of humor intact by cheering everytime the poll watchers ushered in a new batch of voters inside the classroom. Same cheering occurred everytime the election staffers passed by with bags of packed lunch and water bottles. Those pink candies from presidentiable Bayani Fernando weren't enough to keep our hunger at bay.
But despite the chaotic queues, the bigger benefit is that the electoral process is remarkably faster. Not all changes are smooth and glitch-free, but this is the direction that the technological tide is turning to.
Now please tell me how to cure my LSS dilemma with the Sex Bomb Dancers' song "May Bilog Na Hugis Itlog."
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