Picture Story by BJ Patino
Kulaman Valley, now called Sen. Ninoy Aquino, is a hilly municipality in Sultan Kudarat made up of 20 barangays. On May 10, 2010, its voting residents braved acombination of rugged terrain and heavy rainsand trooped to various polling precincts for the country’s first ever automated elections.
At times the voting process was slowed down by technical glitches and a general unfamiliarity with the new system. But people were on the whole enthusiastic throughout the day. The eventual voting turnout of 61.5% attested to this.
There was a general spirit of cooperation in safeguarding the sanctitiy of the vote. The Catholic Church, military, teachers, volunteers, and even residents came together to guard the election process.
The 2007 local elections were tumultuous and echoes were heard in the 2010 polls. But once the votes were transparently tallied and the proper winners proclaimed, the town settled down and elections in Kulaman Valley were declared a success.