Thursday, August 15, 2019

91% of Filipinos favor automated elections in the future

A 2019 Pulse Asia survey showed that 4 of 5 Filipinos are satisfied with the conduct of the May 2019 polls. A significant majority of voters expressed "big trust" in the results, and 87 percent of respondents reported being satisfied with the use of electronic voting machines in the Philippines.

These results mimic another survey conducted in June by The Second Quarter 2019 Social Weather Survey (SWS) among 1,200 adults eligible to vote. The SWS classified the satisfaction rating of Filipinos with the 2019 elections as excellent.

While the Pulse Asia Survey was commissioned by Democracy Watch and Stratbase Albert Del Rosario Institute; the SWS initiative was non-commissioned and released as a public service.

Evaluating the voters’ satisfaction with the automation of their polls and the use of election technology (since 2010) was a critical segment of both surveys. Vote counting machines are in use across all the Philippines, where more than 92,000 electronic voting devices are deployed in nearly 37,000 polling places.

Some of the most significant findings include:
·         94% of respondents said it was easy to vote using the vote-counting machine (VCM)
·         91% said they “would like to see automated voting continue in future elections.”
·         87% said they “were satisfied with the automated polling system or counting of votes through (VCM)”
·         86% said they consider “the election results are believable.”
·         74% believe “no cheating occurred” in their areas
·         64% believe “there was no vote-buying” in their areas

Ronnie Holmes, Pulse Asia president, noted that “a large number of people in favor of continuing automated elections may be due to the ease of voting and quick release of results.
The vast majority of Filipinos voters trust the results of their country’s recent elections.”

Overcoming election irregularities

The Social Weather Survey found fewer Filipino voters saying they personally witnessed, or have knowledge about, election irregularities such as vote-buying, harassment of voters, flying voters, cheating in the counting of votes, bribing not to vote, and use of violence on election day.

According to the answers in the sample, those who personally witnessed vote-buying fell from 19% in June 2016 to 10% in 2019. At the same time, those who read or heard about it from reliable sources fell from 23% to 15%

Furthermore, the impartiality of the automated elections system has resulted in more peaceful elections in the Philippines, and the voters are more aware of these added benefits of election technology in the country.