BY ELLEN TORDESILLAS
In the past, political observers warn that in the Philippines, it’s possible to win in the elections but lose in the counting.
The results of a series of surveys conducted by Social Weather Station evaluating the May 2010 automated elections showed that almost two-thirds of Filipino voters (68 per cent) were satisfied with the counting by the Commission on Elections of the May 10 elections, the first nationwide automated elections in the country. Only 17 per cent were dissatisfied and 13 per cent were undecided.
Among poll workers, who were the ones who carried out the automation process, the satisfaction was even much higher- 97 per cent.
The satisfaction translated into high believability of official results which gave victory to opposition candidates, Benigno Aquino III of the Liberal Party for president and Jejomar Binay of the Partido ng Masang Pilipino for vice president.
Seventy one per cent of the voters find the victory of Aquino “very believable” while 24 per cent said “somewhat believable”. Only five percent find it “somewhat unbelievable” and one per cent find it “very unbelievable”
Among poll workers, 88 per cent find the results of the May 10 presidential elections “very believable” while 12 per cent said “somewhat believable”. A measly point two percent said percent “somewhat unbelievable” and the same number find it “very unbelievable”.
On the victory of Binay, which is a subject of protest by LP vice presidential candidate Mar Roxas, sixty-three per cent of the voters find it “very believable” while 29 per cent said “somewhat believable”. Six percent find it “somewhat unbelievable” and three per cent find it “very unbelievable.”
Among poll workers, 79 per cent find the results of the vice- presidential elections “very believable” while 19 per cent said “somewhat believable”. Only three percent said it is “somewhat unbelievable” and point two per cent find it “very unbelievable.”
Sponsored by The Asia Foundation, the SWS conducted a total of five surveys – four before the May 10 elections and one after.
SWS conducted a separate survey among 480 members of the Board of Election inspectors after the elections from the 2,400 registered voters that it polled before and after the May 10 elections.
SWS said, the findings showed that “the quality of the May 2010 elections were markedly better than that of previous elections.”
The findings also showed that “Although the Automated Election System was accompanied by new types of problems for them, both voters and poll workers were generally pleased by it and favor its continued use in future elections.”
Obviously pleased by the survey results, Comelec Commissioner Gregorio Larrazabal gave the credit to the “collective effort of the Filipino people.”
He said Comelec also conducted their own surveys where they asked people if they queued to be able to vote. Majority said “yes” and for several hours. He said, “You were the ones who made the election successful.”
Click to www.sws.org.ph for the complete results of the survey.