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By Coco Razon 12554 views

Election Watch
Power comes in many forms and it is not only limited to those who possess a position. In fact, you have more power than you can ever imagine; you have the ability to spark change.

On May 13, Election Day, you and a million others can exercise that power. Voting ain't anything like standing in line at a buffet table, where your choices come at random. Whoever sits as senators, congressmen, and district representatives will own the responsibility of handling people’s money, creating laws that will contribute to equality, peace and order, and justice, watching out for your welfare, and serve as the people’s voice—your voice.

That said, the voting process is just as important as knowing who to vote for. One simple mistake can nullify your vote and render your right to suffrage useless. Son, this is what this Election Day guide is for, and you owe yourself this bit of information.

Election Watch                                                      Know why else you need to vote? Because Dorina Groh,
                                                      FHM's Poster Girl for the Eleksyon 2013, wants you to!

First things first: Who's eligible to vote?

Obviously, active registered voters—existing and recently-registered voters—over the age of 18 are allowed to vote. Note the emphasis on “active.” Voters are required to exercise their right to vote or else, they will be dubbed “deactivated voters.”

This means that if a person failed to vote during the past two elections his or her registration will automatically become deactivated. Any deactivated voter should file for reactivation within the registration period (just so you know, registration period's over).


Election Watch
How many candidates should you pick?
Technically, for this election period, you are to vote for:

On the national level: 12 senatorial candidates and one party list candidate

On the municipality level: One congressman, one mayor, one vice mayor, and five councilors catering to different branches of a local government council

On the provincial level: One governor, one vice governor, and provincial board members

While there are an allotted number of candidates to vote for, you can choose fewer than the specified number or even leave a certain section blank should you choose not to vote for a certain position.

Voters are allowed (and greatly encouraged) to bring a kodigo or a list of people you wish to vote for at your precinct. This will help save time.


Where can I do some research regarding these candidates?

It is your responsibility to learn about each candidate's credentials and plans. Thankfully, your source of information on candidates need not be limited to television advertisements and billboards, which can sometimes be misleading and offer a vague point of view. A primary source of information is, of course, the Commission on Elections or COMELEC itself.

The COMELEC has sent out voters’ information sheets (VIS) to registered voters with information on voting precincts, as well as voting “dos and don’ts.” The COMELEC’s official website is also up-to-date and contains a list of candidates from the national to the local level. With that said, the Internet is one medium of valuable information.

In addition to the government websites (like the Official Gazette or Gov.ph and COMELEC websites), search engines can direct you to comprehensive sites, including Rappler, ABS-CBN News, and GMA News Online. These portals will help update you about current issues, survey results, and statistics.

But if you want a simpler guide to the candidates, at least for the senatorial race, click here for our 5 Words Or Less profile on each one of them.

Social media sites, like Twitter and Facebook, have also transformed into a resource for current events and important issues. Of course, one should not set aside newspapers and other publications as information resources. More importantly, do not be afraid to ask. While the answers of others may seem subjective, obtaining different points of view will enable you to make your final decision.


NEXT: When's the best time to vote?

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