The Philippines held national and local elections yesterday and for the first time used automated machines to count the votes. I was able to go to a local elementary school close to my house here in Cebu to see what the scene was like. It’s basically what I thought it would be like and very similar to the presidential election six years ago. It felt like a town fiesta in a way with loud music playing, candidates giving away free food, political fliers all over the streets and people generally in good spirits. The major difference being that people had to wait in line a lot longer. Apparently many of the precincts had to be lumped together because there were not enough machines for every precinct. This along with some minor glitches from the new machines held some in line for over five hours. I even talked to a few people who decided to leave and not cast their vote because of the heat and long lines. I’ve posted some of my images below and you can see more images of the election in my Philippine Election Gallery
I also posted some videos on CNN iReport of the crowds standing in line.