“I'd rather regret the things that I have done than the things that I have not.”
― Lucille Ball

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Elections 2010

Voting form example
Yesterday was elections day in the Philippines. I was following the preparations at a distance last weeks, but now on E-day I was very interested in the implementation of the new (electronic) way of voting, for the first time ever in the Philippines.

Usually it took several weeks to count (and recount) all votes and publish the official results. Of course there are many options for fraud if it takes a long time and is done manually. It is expected that the official results will be available in 2 days time.

Falling in line
However, this doesn't mean that there is no way anymore for fraud and other glitches impacting the results and speed of the process. Reading the news papers today and following the sparse news on the only TV channel we have here in our house, it seems that many problems and fraud cases were reported. Even in our city it was said that "vote buying" was the case, but there is no proof.

A voting glitch that appeared quite often was that the voting machine was broken, as it was the case in Tarlac, and a new machine was ordered from Paniqui, which left the people in the voting queue waiting for more than 4 hours, including president candidate Noy Noy. In the heat of this month (far above 30 degrees) this is almost inhuman, given that drinking is not allowed in the voting buildings.

The elections are for all levels of public management, from president to mayor and city councilors, except at the lowest level being the barangay (captain). The implementation of the voting process itself is however done by the barangay's.
From what I have sensed so far on presidential level, it seems that the results are unofficially available already. Many believe that Noy Noy Aquino (son of the beloved former president Cory) won these elections. It seems that the election day is a bank holiday, as most shops were closed, the big malls opened only at 12.00 noon and there was almost no traffic. Many people were in or around the elementary schools where in most barangay's the elections were held. So for some people of course a good place for business like delivering food, drinks, jeepney's and tricycles; and for young and older people to show-up and meet, so it was a social day as well.
Poll watcher

Scanning machine

Attached pictures (see explanation below) show some impressions of 2 different barangay's I have visited, one time in the morning and a second visit just before the original closing time (6.00 PM), which was later extended with one hour to 7.00 PM due to problems with the voting (scanning) machines in some areas.


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