‘Done voting’: First-time voters participate in high-stakes elections

May 9, 2022 - 7:48 PM
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Voters in 2022 elections
Citizens of Potrero, Malabon cast their votes at Potrero Elementary School on May 9, Wednesday. (Philstar.com/Deejae Dumlao)

The phrase “done voting” gained traction on local Twitter during the elections as first-time voters exercise their Constitutional right to suffrage to choose the country’s new set of leaders.

Commissioner George Garcia of the Commission on Elections said that there are seven million new voters who will participate in the 2022 national and local elections on May 9.

There are a total of 67.4 million voters in the country. Around 30% of these are people ages 18 to 30 years old.

Of the total, over 84,000 are local absentee voters while the 1.679 million others are overseas voters.

This is the first time that Filipinos will select their next set of leaders against the backdrop of a coronavirus pandemic.

These leaders include the 17th president of the republic, the vice president, senators and representatives. It also includes aspiring leaders in cities and municipalities.

The high-stakes elections prompted some first-time voters to express their thoughts online as they participate in nation-building.

As of this writing, the phrase “Done Voting” has garnered 27,100 tweets on Twitter Philippines’ trending list.

(Screengrab by Interaksyon from Twitter Philippines

A first-time voter shared a picture of his index finger with indelible ink and said that participating in the elections was “super empowering” as a citizen.

“A first-time voter (and) finally done voting! Every vote counts and one vote can help change the nation. Your vote and voice matter. Be vigilant. Protect your ballots. Praying for better governance and a better future for the Philippines,” another online user wrote.

“Done voting. The experience was really empowering as a first time voter. Also, a reminder to everyone to protect your votes! Vote wisely and make sure to elect leaders who will truly serve our country,” a different Filipino tweeted with a picture of an inked finger.

Apart from ordinary citizens, some celebrities such as Gary Valenciano, Liza Soberano, Maris Racal, Andrea Brillantes, Darren Espanto and Francine Diaz are taking part in the elections for the first time.

Registering as a voter and participating in the process of selecting public officials who will run localities and the country itself is a form of reinforcing democracy in a society.

“It is significant in that simply exercising your right of suffrage connects you to the great democratic tradition of individuals taking part in their own governance,” Director James Jimenez of Comelec said in an opinion column before.

“Voting matters because it gives you a voice in government—yes, even if the one you voted for actually lost. Whether we like it or not, the government affects every aspect of our lives—from womb to tomb. By voting, you get the opportunity to put a government in place that will care for you, provide you opportunities for prosperity and happiness, and protect you the way you want,” he added.