Vote-buying, harassment of voters, flying voters and other poll-related irregularities are fast becoming a thing of the past in the Philippines, if the May 2019 national election is to be made as basis.
The Social Weather Station (SWS) reported that based on its recent survey, incidences of some election-related irregularities have dropped to insignificant numbers already.
For instance, the SWS survey showed that the number of Filipinos who personally witnessed harassment of voters dropped to 2% in the May 2019 polls from 4% in 2016. Those who said they read or heard about it fell to 4% from 7%.
The percentage of Filipino voters who said they personally witnessed cheating in the counting of votes in the May 2019 polls dropped to 1% from 3% in 2016. Those who read or heard about it plunged to 3% from 11%.
In the case of flying voters, those who said they personally witnessed it went down to 2% from the previous 4%, while those who read or heard about dropped to 4% from 7%.
The incidence of bribing of people to convince them not to vote also fell considerably to 1 percent in 2019 from 5% in 2016, while those who read or heard about it dropped to 4% from 11%.
Meanwhile, the percentage of Filipinos who said they personally witnessed violence on election day fell to 1% from 3%, and those who said they read or heard about it dropped to 1% from 6%.
Vote-buying was the only one on the list election irregularities that still had significant number of reported incidences. The SWS survey showed the percentage of voters who said they personally witnessed vote-buying was still at 10% in the May 2019 election, although it was a big improvement from the 19% in the previous polls. Those who said they read or heard about it from reliable sources fell to 15% from 23%.
These numbers are the results of the Second Quarter 2019 Social Weather Survey conducted from June 22 to 26, with 1,200 adults interviewed face to face.
When asked: “What are the problems you encountered which pertains to voting in the last May 2019 elections?”, the respondents answered “very long lines” (53%); followed by “the Vote Counting Machine (VCM) malfunctioned” (16%); “the VCM did not read the ballot” (4%); there was “violence in the voting center” (3%); and “did not see their names in the voters’ list” (3%). One percent specified other problems, 35% said they did not encounter any problem, and 1% did not give an answer.
Results showed that the number of voters who said they did not encounter any problems this year went up from 23% in 2016. There were also fewer complaints about the VCM malfunctioned, from 20% in 2016.