The calendar has sped by, and before we even realized it, what weeks of a tumultuous campaign season have led up to is finally here: Voting Day ’22. This year’s May 9 national and local elections record 65.7 million registered voters in the country alone, a number more than what we’ve seen in past polls. With Millennials and Gen Z making up 56 percent of that, the youth vote could hold the power to steer the country’s fate in the foreseeable future.
But to do so effectively, voters must begin with the very basics, starting with what to pack for the big day itself. While certain physical objects are a prerequisite for a smooth voting process, a note-to-self on mental necessities will also do you—and your country—a whole lotta good. To start off, we’ve compiled a list of stuff for you to bring to the polling station, whether tangible or not.
Your self-identity (and government-approved proof of it)
Sorry, folks, but you can schedule your identity crisis at a later date. The ninth of May is the day you gotta know your beliefs and who you really are—literally.
Pack your Election Day bag with your Voter’s ID, or if you don’t have one, an identification card issued by an official government body. This useful card will help poll watchers quickly spot your name on their exclusive guest list (a.k.a. the precinct’s registered voters), and it’ll also help prove you are who you say you are.
Your brain cells (and the essentials)
Aside from your identification card, your bag of things to bring needs to have the bare necessities ticked off the list. This includes a working pen, which you’ll use to sign the Election Day Computerized Voter’s List (EDVCL).
It’s also mandatory to pack an extra pack of brain cells for the big day. This means knowing the following things, including 1) your voter status and where your precinct is, which you can verify at Comelec’s site; 2) the voting hours (6 a.m. to 7 p.m.); and 3) the appropriate number of candidates to shade on your ballot. (Just sayin’.)
Your devoted adherence to rules
Contrary to the dusty book of cliches, rules aren’t always meant to be broken. Even before you step inside your precinct, familiarize yourself with the regulations. Prep a ’fit without your candidate’s name, as Comelec says that brandishing this after campaign season is a big no-no. However, you can choose to wear your candidates’ colors at your own discretion.
Taking photos and videos inside the voting area is also prohibited, especially your ballot and receipt, as this will count as creating an illegal carbon copy. While you may be hyped to have voted—and rightly so—you can save that Instagram Stories snap for later once you’re finally out of the precinct.
If you’re a first-time voter or a li’l rusty with the voting process, you can always check out this step-by-step guide.
Your health consciousness
Speaking of guidelines, Election Day will expectedly be a bit different this time around with the pandemic still looming over us. With that in mind, the usual health essentials such as face masks, alcohol, and hand sanitizers continue to be a must.
Your temperature will be checked before you enter the voting center, and voters are still advised to practice social distancing once inside. Pro tip: To avoid crowds, you can always opt to vote during off-peak hours.
Your head full of verified research (and a list of your candidates)
Before that official day hits, it’s not too late to pack your brain with verified info on candidates. Review previous debates and interviews, and read up on articles from reputable sources. Ask yourself: Are your candidates clear of corruption cases? Are they fighting important causes? Will they enact their platforms once all is said and done?
Once you’ve made your informed decisions, prep a list of your preferred candidates, so you won’t draw a blank once you’re settled in your station—but don’t forget to keep it close to you.
Your sense of pride (because congrats, you’ve done your country proud!)
Hear that? That’s applause from us once you’ve done your civic duty and upheld your suffrage, along with an informed vote to boot. Go forth and out of your polling station, as you can finally raise your purple-stained finger with pride. For all you know, you could inspire a registered pal who’s yet to hit their precinct. (Just do them a favor and pass this on.)
Art by Yel Sayo