For the unsung heroes at the polls
MANILA, Philippines – Election day is a time for heroes.
They’re not just the ones you see on podiums, delivering messages of hope and salvation.
They’re also the ones you’ll meet at the precincts, who help you to the chairs, hand over your ballots, and toil in silence until the final vote has been submitted and tallied.
They’re the poll watchers and election inspectors who sacrifice their vacation every election season to protect your vote.
They’re the unsung heroes of our elections; the true guardians of our democratic right.
She moves with purpose
An election volunteer’s work begins long before you step foot into a precinct. She undergoes long orientations and meetings to prepare for the big day, mastering the protocol to make sure that everything goes smoothly.
If staff is running short, she will also walk for miles in the summer heat, sore feet and all, hoping to find a few more helping hands around the community.
By the time you arrive bright and early on election day, these volunteers, who are also often mothers and wives, have sacrificed precious time away from their own families to serve the country.
On election day, the volunteer is in constant motion: hauling beat-up wooden chairs, helping tired voters find a seat, verifying voters, and putting each ballot through the PCOS machine. She will endure all this under the punishing summer heat.
More than the physical sacrifice, her life is also on the line: on the job, she can get harassed, be bullied, and sometimes, even killed.
She will move to get the job done. She will rush to help an elderly voter it down. She will soothe an impatient voter with her calm words. She will get help to fix a broken machine. She will firmly call out anyone who does not obey the protocol.
She will move for the sake of the country’s future. Her work doesn’t stop after the last ballot has been cast. A volunteer has to ensure that the ballot data will be transmitted to the main servers. If something goes wrong, she is prepared to spend hours, even days, to ensure that all votes will be counted and submitted. These tireless volunteers push on, for next to nothing, all for the sake of helping each citizen exercise their right to vote.
Make your own move
On May 9, you will uphold your mandate to vote for the nation’s next set of leaders. Choose wisely.
Be inspired by the dedicated women volunteers who will take your signature, give you your ballot, and put indelible ink on your finger.
Thank them for their assistance. Thank them for their patience. Thank them for their dedication and sacrifice.
Thank them for helping you, and millions of other Filipinos, protect the future of our country.
Your duty does not end after you cast your vote. Your actions should serve a purpose not just for yourself, but for others.
What will be your next move? – Rappler.com