By Franz Jonathan G. de la Fuente

A single vote can make a difference, especially if you are an Iskolar ng Bayan.

In partnership with the UP Linux User’s Group (UnPLUG), National Union of Students in the Philippines, STAND-UP launched last Friday “Botong Isko 2010,” a UP system-wide online mock election simulating the May 10 national elections.

The soft launch at the C.M. Recto Hall, Faculty Center was followed by a forum on election automation called “Botomatik 2010,” which featured speakers from UnPLUG, Kabataan party list, and the Center for People Empowerment in Governance (CENPEG).

STAND-UP chairperson and university student council chairperson-elect Rainier Astin Sindayen said this is the first time a system-wide effort has been initiated to concretely rank UP voter preferences in a national election.

“The UP (University of the Philippines) and youth votes are powerful, and can affect the outcome of an election. This initiative will measure what exactly is the pulse of the UP students on a nationwide level when it comes to the upcoming elections,” he said.

A website (, not yet operational as of press time) will be set up where students, using their student numbers and surnames, will be able to vote for president, vice-president, 12 senators, and a party list group.

Only currently enrolled UP students in any constituent UP university may vote on any computer with Internet access, Sindayen explained.

In addition to the voting feature, the website will include the various candidates’ platforms, in line with Botong Isko 2010’s thrust in voters’ education and information.

The polls will open on Thursday, March 18, 8 p.m., and close on Tuesday, March 23, 5 p.m. Official results will also be released on the 23rd.


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