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Not Voting

Some years ago, Person A accompanied some friends to register in COMELEC. He was confident that he was still registered. But just for the heck of it, since he was already there and to make use of time, he asked the COMELEC staff to check on his registration status. Much to his incredulous shock, he was informed that his registration has been deactivated. But.. but how could that have happened? He was told that that happens when a voter doesn’t vote on two consecutive elections. But Person A scrambles to explain that he has not failed to vote on two elections. He has failed to vote only once, and that was the last barangay elections. That was a James Ingram song – just once. Well, apparently, that just once is enough for the voter registration to be deactivated. That means that even if he lines up early on the voting precinct on the next elections, he would not be able to vote because his name would not appear on the list. So, because of that, he was not able to vote on that election on which President Duterte won. I know what you’re thinking. He could have had his registration activated. He doesn’t really know or remember how it happened. Maybe he was too lazy to go to COMELLEC and fix the thing. Maybe he was too busy to make time to go early on the COMELEC office to secure a spot on the line. Maybe, the lines were just too long and crowded that it was too disheartening to go there early in the morning.

You might ask why he did not vote on that barangay elections in the first place. He could have been spared of this whole inconvenience and disqualification to vote had he just walked a few blocks and fallen in line for around an hour to cast that vote that would have saved him from deactivation. Somehow, it was his fault, wasn’t it? Well, Person A actually intentionally did not vote on that barangay elections because he did not know the candidates. Now, how does that happen when these aspirants should be the very people in one’s community? Well, it’s like this. The barangay where Person A is registered as a voter is not really the barangay where he stays. He just used his aunt’s address for reasons related to work. To make things more interesting, Person A’s aunt and cousins have long move to another barangay and do not live and vote in that barangay anymore. What’s further interesting is that that address which Person A uses is not a residential area anymore, and has long since been converted to some grocery store. So, if someone traces him to his given address, they would be scratching their head in figuring out what the real deal is. So, to cut it short, Person A has not stayed in the barangay, and he did not know the people around. So, he thought to himself, he would be doing the barangay a big favor by not voting, and not voting for candidates who could possibly do wrong in the position. He thought that was a noble thing to do; and he was just actually lazy to go to the school. As it turned out, not voting was so much of a hassle than expected. Not voting just once took Person A’s name out of the system. He went to COMELEC to have it sorted out, but it turned out that registration or reactivation was not going on that time. Who knew that it had a schedule? He thought that it worked like a 7-Eleven where you could walk in anytime and get what you want. So, he had to wait for the time when the registration comes along. He had to set time from work to go to the registration center and give his biometrics and get that slip of paper. It was that simple. He was back on the list. He could vote again.

This time, Person A has learned his lesson. A few days from now, it’s going to be the barangay elections once again. He’s not going to waste his reactivation. He’s going out on Monday to vote. He still does not know the candidates. Heck, he doesn’t even know who the incumbent punong barangay is. He’s not going to ask around. He doesn’t even know people whom he could ask about the candidates. He’ll be going out as early as his sleepy head could get him up. He’ll go to the precinct, get that ballot, and vote by random. I don’t know how he’s going to do it. Maybe, he’ll pick up a good looking name or vote for whoever is at number 1 on the list. A colleague asked him what if he votes for the wrong person. Person A says that it’s not his problem anymore. He just doesn’t want to be deactivated again.

Proverbs 13:4: “A sluggard’s appetite is never filled, but the desires of the diligent are fully satisfied.”


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