Eleksyon 2013: Technical glitches and vote buying most common issues on election day

Featured,For Release,Press May 13, 2013 10:10 PM

Released 13 May 2013

Technical glitches in PCOS machines and rampant vote-buying are two of the most common complaints in the past 14 hours since the polling precincts opened on election day. Starting at 6am on May 13, almost 3,000 volunteers of the Legal Network for Truthful Elections (LENTE) have been submitting reports on incidents of election-related corruption and violence and difficulties related to the conduct of the electoral process, a total of over 300 reports as of 8pm. This is visually presented in a reports map from LENTE’s volunteers, a first from a nationwide election watchdog.

LENTE mapping (all categories)

Difficulties in the implementation of prescribed conduct of the electoral process contribute to 79 percent of the reports from LENTE volunteers, including PCOS machines malfunctioning before and during voting (from paper jams and rejected ballots). In Gingoog City in Misamis Oriental, the Bureau of Election Inspectors had to cut the edges of the ballot just so the machine can scan the ballots. In places such as Saranggani, Iloilo, Tacloban, Palawan, and some places in the National Capital Region, PCOS machines had stopped working after successfully scanning a score of ballots.

Incidents of disenfranchisement also increased in precincts with discrepancies in the Board of Election Inspectors’ copy of the Election Day Voters’ Computerized List and Precinct Computerized Voters’ List posted outside the precincts. In Mindoro, the PCVL posted at the voting center does not correspond to the actual EPVCL. In some precincts in Palawan, PCVLs were barely readable and many voters struggled to understand it. This has discouraged a number of voters who decided to head home without having the opportunity to exercise their right.

LENTE National Secretariat Head Atty. Kenjie Aman reminded elections officers to make the conduct of elections and the voters’ experience as convenient as possible to avoid disenfranchisement and encourage Filipinos to believe in the electoral system again.

LENTE volunteers also observed that only two precincts (one each in the towns of Salawag and Dasmarinas, Cavite) have successfully implemented COMELEC Resolution 9485 on Accessible Polling Places for Persons With Disability (PWD), pregnant women, and detained voters.

The general rule is to have a specific area in the precinct for the said voters, ideally located at the ground floor. In precincts where the APP could not possibly be at the ground floor, a member of the Special Board of Election Inspectors must “place the folder inside an envelope, close the envelope and seal the envelope using a paper seal.” There were also reports involving illegal assistance of voters who are neither Persons With Disability (PWD) nor illiterate.

LENTE mapping (electoral process)

Election-related corruption like vote-buying and vote-selling compose 15 percent of the reports. Some campaign parties distribute meal studs with name of candidates, and sample ballots with attached money. Atty. Ona Caritos, executive director of LENTE, reiterates that sample ballots prepared and distributed by a political party or a person running for elective office are prohibited. Sample ballots bearing the names and/or likeness of any candidate must be considered as campaign paraphernalia and must not be distributed on the day of elections itself. The distribution of said sample ballot within a 30-meter radius of a polling place may be considered unlawful electioneering, an election offense.

LENTE mapping (corruption)

The remaining 6 percent of reports compose of election-related violence, including incidents of harassment against campaign staff and members of the Board of Election Inspectors. There were also incidents of shooting, fist fights and bombing, mostly in Mindanao and Mindoro areas. At 7pm, an election inspector, who was yet to be identified, was shot dead in Basilan.

LENTE mapping (violence)

LENTE’s national secretariat and network of volunteers will continue to receive and verify reports from the ground as transmission and canvassing of ballots happen.

1 Comment

  • Rolly Balazon

    Hindi ko na nga alam kung paano na malulutas ang mga problema sa tuwing halalan. Kagaya sa aming lugar, ang kuya ko ay tumakbong Mayor sa aming Bayan (Maitum, Sarangani) subalit siya ay natalo ng kanyang katunggali ng 96 votes lamang. Nagkaroon ng imbestigasyon at nakita naming na nanalo ang kanyang katunggali dahil sa DAYA. May dalawang presinto na kung saan obvious ang nangryaring discrepancies. Ang una, sa isang presinto maraming balota ang na-fill up-an ng hindi talagang registered voters. Around 200 plus voters ang hindi verified by the BEI chairman at inamin naman ng nasabing BEI chairman dahil nga siya’y tinakot ng “goons” ng katunggali ng aking kuya. Nag sampa kami ng electoral protest subalit dismissed ng RTC judge ang protesta dahil sa technical issue na hindi nasunod ng aming legal counsel ang format ng case paper na nakasaaad sa EFFICIENT USE OF PAPER RULE. Wala namag sanction na naisali sa RULE na yan kung hindi nasunod ng legal counsel ang nasabing RULE. Subalit ginamit ito ng judge to dismiss the case. Ang mismong judge pa ung nag administer sa katunggali ng Kuya ko sa kanyang oath taking bilang mayor sa aming bayan. Majority of the people sa Maitum ay still crying out for justice dahil pati ang judge ay hindi nagging fair sa ginawang pag dismiss nya sa electoral protest na isinampa naming. Puwede ho ba ninyo kaming matulungan tungkol sa problemang ito sa amin. Salamat po.

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