by Azer Parrocha
MANILA — There are fewer Filipinos who have witnessed vote-buying and other irregularities during the May 2019 midterm polls, a survey from the Social Weather Stations (SWS) released Wednesday (Sept. 11) showed.
The SWS survey, conducted from June 22-26, 2019, found that those who personally witnessed vote-buying decreased to 10% this year from 19% recorded during the 2016 elections.
On the other hand, those who read or heard about it from reliable sources fell to 15% from 23% in 2016.
Those who personally witnessed harassment of voters dropped to 2% this year from the 4% while those who read or heard about it fell to 4% this year from 9% in 2016.
For flying voters, those who personally witnessed this irregularity fell to 2% this year from 4% in 2016 while those who read or heard about it fell slightly to 4% from 7%.
Those who personally witnessed cheating in the counting of votes dropped to 1% from 3% while those who read or heard about it significantly reduced from 11% to 3%.
Fewer people also witnessed bribing not to vote fell from 5% to 1% while those who read or heard about it fell from 11% to 4%.
Those who personally witnessed violence during election day fell slightly dropped from 3% to 1% and those who read or heard about it has a significant reduction from 6% to 1%.
The survey also found problems encountered in the midterm polls like long lines, malfunctioning vote-counting machines, vote-counting machines which did not read the ballot, violence in the voting centers, and failure to find voters’ names in the voters’ list, among other problems.
The remaining 35% of the 1,200 respondents said they did not encounter any problem, and 1% did not give an answer. Respondents were allowed to choose more than one answer from a set of pre-listed voting-related problems in the questionnaire.
Meanwhile, the survey also showed that those who personally witnessed vote-buying is highest in Mindanao, followed by the Visayas, Metro Manila, and Balance Luzon while those who personally witnessed harassment of voters are highest in Mindanao, followed by Metro Manila and the Visayas, and Balance Luzon.
The pollster also found that flying voters are highest in Mindanao, followed by Metro Manila and the Visayas, and Balance Luzon and cheating in the counting of votes is highest in Metro Manila, followed by the Visayas, and Mindanao, and in Balance Luzon.
Bribing not to vote is highest in Metro Manila and the Visayas, followed by Balance Luzon and Mindanao and those who personally witnessed violence on election day is highest in Visayas and Mindanao but none of the samples in Metro Manila and Balance Luzon reported seeing it.
In a Palace briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador said Palace respects the opinion of those who believe there were fewer irregularities and those who disagree.
“Mayroon ba tayong magagawa kung iyan ang paniniwala nila (Can we do anything if that is their belief)? Panelo said on Thursday.
“There are some who said there were (irregularities in the midterm polls). There are some who said there were none. So, we will take it on that,” he added. (PNA)