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Fewer Filipinos witnessed election fraud in 2019

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By Ellalyn De Vera-Ruiz

There were fewer Filipino voters who witnessed or heard about election-related irregularities in the conduct of the May 2019 elections than in 2016, according to a survey conducted by the Social Weather Stations (SWS).

Thousands of Filipinos troop to a public cemetery to visit their departed relatives in Manila November 1, 2010. People flocked to cemeteries to spruce up the tombs of their loved ones for the annual celebration of All Saints Day, when millions of Filipinos remember their departed relatives and friends. REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco (PHILIPPINES - Tags: RELIGION SOCIETY OBITUARY)

(Manila Bulletin)

In the nationwide survey conducted last June 22-26 with 1,200 respondents, SWS found that the proportion of those who personally witnessed vote-buying fell to 10 percent from the 19 percent in June 2016.

At the same time, those who read or heard about election-related irregularities from reliable sources fell from 23 percent to 15 percent.

Those who personally witnessed harassment of voters fell slightly from 4 percent in 2016 to 2 percent in 2019. Those who read or heard about it fell from 9 percent in 2016 to 4 percent at present.

Those who personally witnessed flying voters also fell slightly from 4 percent in 2016 to 2 percent in 2019. Those who read or heard about it fell slightly from 7 percent to 4 percent.

On those who personally witnessed cheating in the counting of votes, it fell slightly from 3 percent in 2016 to 1 percent in 2019. Those who read or heard about it fell from 11 percent to 3 percent.

Likewise, those who personally witnessed bribing not to vote fell from 5 percent in 2016 to 1 percent in 2019. Those who read or heard about it fell from 11 percent to 4 percent.

Those who personally witnessed violence on election day fell slightly from 3 percent in 2016 to 1 percent in 2019. Those who read or heard about it fell from 6 percent to 1 percent.

The respondents were also asked: “What were the problems you encountered which pertain to voting in the last May 2019 elections?”

SWS found 53 percent answering very long lines, followed by malfunctioned vote-counting machine or VCM (16 percent), VCM did not read the ballot (4 percent), violence in the voting center (3 percent), and did not see their names in the voters’ list (3 percent). One percent specified other problems.

The remaining 35 percent did not encounter any problem, and 1 percent did not give an answer.

Compared to June 2016, there were fewer complaints about the VCM malfunction, down from 20 percent; VCM did not read the ballot, down slightly from 5 percent; and missing names in the voters’ list, down from 7 percent.

Also, those who did not encounter any problem were up from 23 percent in 2016.

However, there were slightly more complaints about very long lines, up slightly from 51 percent in 2016, and violence in the voting center, up slightly from 1 percent previously.

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