Angelina Jolie for president?
This was what Filipinos quipped after the Commission on Elections released a copy of a test voting ballot for the 2022 national and local elections which was filled with names of Hollywood A-listers.
Comelec on Wednesday held a mock election across the country in preparation for the May 2022 elections.
It was held in parts of Metro Manila and six other provinces, namely Isabela, Albay, Negros Oriental, Leyte, Maguindanao and Davao del Sur.
Reports said that the mock elections aim to test the efficiency of the implementation of basic health protocols in light of the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic.
Comelec Deputy Executive Director Teodoro Elnas Jr. also said that the mock elections “will be the end-to-end demonstration of the whole [election] process.”
“We will test how accurate and secure our process, such as the transmission of results,” he said last November.
The mock polls will likewise be a dry-run of the automated elections software system to be used for the real polls next year.
“Ang mock elections po na ito ay pursuant sa umiiral na batas para ma-test ‘yung security, accuracy at saka po ang integrity ng ating VCM (vote-counting machine), the transmission and the canvassing po, and at the same time, ‘yung effectiveness po ng ipatutupad na protocols dahil po for the first time in the history of the Philippines, magkakaroon po tayo ng pandemic elections,” Ronald Santiago, Pasay City’s election officer for districts 1 and 2, explained.
Real voters are participating in the process and as of Wednesday afternoon, actress-singer Selena Gomez won as president in the mock elections held at the Tenement Elementary School in Taguig City
Basketball star LeBron James won as vice president in the same voting precinct.
Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez said that fictitious names of candidates and party-lists are used in the mock ballots so that the commission wouldn’t be accused of causing a “trend” among voters.
One sample ballot made the rounds on the internet after an ABS-CBN reporter shared a picture of it to the public.
Among the listed names for president are Ben Affleck, Jennifer Anniston, Halle Berry, Gomez, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt.
Mock vice-presidential candidates, on the other hand, include Christian Bale, Mariah Carey, Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, James LeBron and Harry Styles.
Those listed as senatorial bets include Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande, Taylor Swift, Beyonce Knowles, Gal Gadot and Hugh “Wolverine” Jackman.
Filipinos wasted no time creating their own lists of voter preferences following the release of the mock ballot.
One Twitter user quipped of voting Angelina Jolie for president and Mariah Carey for vice president.
“And my Senators: Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga, Dua Lipa, Katy Perry. Ariana Grande,” he wrote in response to the reported mock ballot.
“SELENA GOMEZ FOR PRESIDENT,” another Filipino tweeted.
“Beyoncé for senator! Numero bente tres sa balota,” a different Twitter user quipped with a GIF.
Others went beyond preferences and shared their own comments to the mock lineup of candidates.
“Angelina running against Brad for presidency is the family drama plot I need,” a Twitter user shared. The two were considered Hollywood’s golden couple until their divorce in 2016.
“The presidential bardagulan we, maritesses, are waiting for. LOL,” another online user commented.
A different Filipino quipped that the mock ballot consists of “Comelec’s top artists [on] Spotify,” a music streaming service.
The real elections will be held on May 9, 2022.