Expectations of vote-buying, cheating, highest in Mindanao – SWS survey

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/15 April) — Expectations of vote-buying, cheating in the counting of votes; and flying voters are highest in Mindanao than in other parts o hte country, according to a Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey on the “Filipino public opinion on matters related to the May 2010 national elections.” In a Powerpoint presentation for The Asia Foundation’s ARMM Election Stakeholders’ meeting Thursday at the Marco Polo hotel, Dr. Mahar Mangahas, SWS president, showed a series of graphs on Pre-Election Expectations of voting irregularities from 1992 to 2010, showing that while the 2007 pre-election expectations posted record-high ratings nationwide, it is the 2010 pre-election expectations that have posted all-time high” records in terms of vote-buying, harassment of voters, violence in campaign period.
“Cheating in the counting of votes is high but not all-time high,” he said, adding harassment of voters and violence in the campaign period posted “all-time high” records.

Nationwide, 71% said vote-buying “definitely/probably will happen.” Sixty-six per cent agreed in Metro Manila; 69% said the same in the other parts of Luzon. Visayas and Mindanao posted 75% each.

Nationwide, only 51% say cheating in the counting of votes “definitely/probably will happen” with Metro Manila posting 58%, the rest of Luzon 48%, Visayas 42% and Mindanao 60%.

Nationwide, only 48% say flying voters “definitely/probably will happen,” with 57% in Metro Manila, 43% in the rest of Luzon, 38% in Visayas and 60% in Mindanao.

Nationwide, only 45% say harassment of voters “definitely/probably will happen,” 38% say so in Metro Manila, 43% in the balance of Luzon, 36% in Visayas and 60% in Mindanao.

Nationwide, 37% say violence in election campaign period “definitely/probably will happen.” In Metro Manila, 35% say so; in the rest of Luzon, 32%. In the Visays, only 30% say so while in Mindanao, 52% agree violence in the campaign period “definitely/probably will happen.”

But nationwide, the number of people who “personally witnessed voting irregularities in the recent election” from 1998 to 2007 showed fewer people have “personally witnessed” vote-buying, cheating in the counting of votes, harassment of voters and flying voters. Although the figures went up in 2001 (around 22% vote-buying; 11% cheating in the counting of votes; 9% flying voters; 6% harassment of voters), they went down by several points in the 2004 elections and several points more in the 2007 polls (around 12% vote-buying; 2% in cheating in counting of votes and flying voters. There was no 2007 record of harassment of voters but it posted 5% in 2004).

On the people’s interest in the elections, nearly 60% posted “much interest” while around 30% posted “moderate interest.”

At least 90% of those surveyed as of March 2010, said they “will definitely vote.”

On voters’ preparations for May 10, 56% of those surveyed said they would “bring own list of candidates;” 32% said they would “memorize the names of candidates;” 16% said they will “use a sample ballot given by a political group;” 11% said they will “not prepare any list, but just choose from the official list in the polling booth.” (Carolyn O. Arguillas/MindaNews)