During the 2016 presidential election, 25 percent of voters consisted of millennials. This year, with Generation Z, the youth will have more say on who wins in the midterm elections.
For young Filipinos who will be voting for the first time on Monday, May 13, here are four things you should keep in mind when casting your ballot.
1) Vote for the candidate who shares your values.
You want someone who can represent your values in government by pushing for laws or bills that will benefit society. You want your voice to be heard, and one way to do that is to cast your vote wisely.
The last thing you want is someone who will abuse his power and shirk his responsibility as a public servant. Know candidates’ advocacies and filter out possible lies.
2) Go over the platform of each candidate and vote accordingly.
By going over a candidate’s platform, we are helping ourselves make informed decisions. Doing research, watching debates, and listening to speeches are a means to measure a candidate’s competency for a position.
Politicians’ campaigns use catchy jingles, mass posters and freebies because they know that these are effective. They rely on name recall to win them seats.
Some candidates who qualify do not have sufficient support and funding to help them compete with the “old players.” With the rise of social media, however, it is much easier than ever to campaign for a candidate.
A simple tweet or Facebook post on why you think a person should be elected could reach thousands of potential voters. Our generation is breaking the norm that campaigns can only be done on the streets.
Surveys and mock polls are not always accurate. While there is still time to campaign for a candidate, do so. If you think a candidate is suited for a position, state his/her platform and tell the public why they must vote for the candidate.
3) Ensure the candidate you’re voting for is running to serve the country.
Candidates have different agendas for running. It is our job as citizens to make sure that the candidates elected into office have the right intentions. Our history has a long list of politicians who used their position for personal purposes.
Don’t vote for candidates who are running only for self-gain or to sustain their political dynasty. Choose candidates with integrity and credibility.
4) Make sure to remember the names of the candidates you’re voting for.
As a first-time voter, you can make a mistake. Here are some things to remember:
You do not need to choose 12 senators in the ballot. If you think that there are only four competent candidates, vote only those four. The machine will only count the candidates you pick.
You can bring a list of your chosen candidates when you vote, but you cannot bring campaign materials to the polling precinct.
Cell phones are not allowed in the voting area. Texting, calling and taking photos are prohibited. —CONTRIBUTED