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Pulse Asia: May polls accurate, credible

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Most Filipinos believe the May 2022 elections were accurate and credible, the survey company Pulse Asia said Monday.

Citing the results of its latest Ulat ng Bayan survey, Pulse Asia said 82 percent of their respondents had “big trust” that the results of the May 9 elections were accurate and credible, and only 4 percent said they had “small trust” or did not trust the results. Fourteen percent said they were undecided.

The survey, commissioned by Stratbase ADR Institute, was conducted from June 24 – 27, 2022, and showed that eight out of 10 Filipinos (voters and non-voters) expressed their trust in the accuracy and credibility of the recent polls. A total of 1,200 persons participated in the survey.

Most of the respondents (89 percent) also said they were satisfied with the conduct of the automated elections and wanted automation to continue.

Automation yielded faster results, according to 72 percent of the respondents, while 15 percent said it made voting easier, and 11 percent said it made the process more credible.

The survey had a ±2.8 percent margin of error at the 95 percent confidence level.

Ronald Holmes, president of Pulse Asia Research Inc., presented the data during Monday’s webinar dubbed as “The Voice of the Filipino People: A Post-Elections Assessment” organized by Stratbase ADR Institute.

The result of the 2022 elections showed that former senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. won in the presidential race with 31,629,783 votes, or 58.77 percent of votes counted, against Vice President Leni Robredo who garnered 15,035,773 votes.

For vice president, former Davao City mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, who ran in tandem with Marcos, got 32,208,417 votes, or 61.33 percent of the votes counted, as against Robredo’s running mate Senator Francis Pangilinan who had 9,329,207 votes.

The National Board of Canvassers concluded the canvassing with 98.84 percent, or 171 out of 173 certificates of canvass (COCs), containing a total of 53,815,484 votes.

Citing the same survey, the Commission on Elections said the 2022 national elections were better and “more credible” than the 2016 elections.

“Because of the success of the random manual audit, our electoral system has again been proven to be reliable and doubts about the results have effectively been erased,” said Comelec Commissioner Soccoro Inting. “This development undeniably bolsters confidence and credibility in the conduct of the 2022 national and local elections.”

The survey also said that four out of 10 (39 percent) Filipinos believe there was less cheating in this year’s elections, compared to the 2016 elections.

Despite the isolated incidents of malfunctioning vote counting machines (VCMs) during the election period, the Comelec insisted that the results were true with their field offices having responded to each problem by either repairing or replacing broken units.

The commissioner also addressed voter hesitation in precincts with malfunctioning SD cards, stating that they are not oblivious to the mishaps which occurred last May 9.

“In case of the VCM malfunctions, the voter had two options: one, proceed with voting but agree to sign a waiver of their right to be issued a receipt. The electoral board would then batch feed the ballots before the polls close. Two, for the VCM malfunction issue to be resolved so they could personally feed the ballots,” she said.

Inting said out of the 107,345 VCMs used for the 2022 elections, 97,345 units were already used in previous elections.

Meanwhile, the random manual audit of votes matched the 99.95 percent of the election returns from the 746 randomly selected ballot boxes. The Comelec said this negates prevalent suspicions that the automated election system was flawed and susceptible to cheating.

Filipinos showed high political interest in the recent elections, surpassing the 81.95 percent turnout rate during the 2016 national elections.

But the citizen election watchdog National Movement for Free Elections (Namfrel) said that the unprecedented voter turnout overwhelmed many voting centers, resulting in the violation of COVID-19 protocols in many areas.

“Namfrel volunteers reported confusion among voters about queueing procedures outside voting centers, and crowding outside polling places,” its Preliminary Report on the 2022 national elections said.

“A considerable percentage of voting centers observed had no Emergency Accessible Polling Places (EAPPs) for senior citizens, persons with disabilities, or heavily pregnant voters, or no Isolation Polling Places (IPPs) for voters with COVID-19 symptoms,” it added.

Namfrel also observed that while voting generally went smoothly, hundreds of polling places still experienced many VCM-related and procedural problems.

“Some machines that broke took too long to be replaced that Namfrel volunteers reported that many voters were not able to vote until later in the night or even the next day,” it said.

— Gabriellea Parino and Chelsea Din

 

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