harassment

7 out of 10 Pinoy voters expect vote-buying on May 10 – SWS

7 out of 10 Pinoy voters expect vote-buying on May 10 – SWS
By Helen Flores
The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines – Seven out of 10 Filipino voters expect vote-buying to occur in their localities during the May 10 elections, a recent survey by the Social Weather Stations (SWS) showed.

The special SWS Pre-election Survey, conducted from March 19 to 22, found 71 percent of registered voters expect vote-buying to take place in the coming polls.

Expectations of vote-buying increased from 57 percent in May 2007 to 63 percent in February 2010, and 71 percent in March 2010, the SWS said.

Compared to expectations of vote-buying, SWS said fewer percentages expect the following election irregularities to happen: cheating in the counting of votes (51 percent), flying voters (48 percent), harassment of voters (45 percent), and use of violence during the election campaign period (37 percent).

In the February 2010 pre-election survey, 78 percent expect voting to be clean and orderly in their precinct, and 68 percent expect the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to honestly count the votes.

However, 56 percent expect cheating in vote-counting at some levels, not limited to precincts only.

The new SWS survey showed that grassroots expectations of election irregularities in 2010 and 2007 are markedly higher compared to previous campaigns in 2004, 2001 and 1992.

In 2007, expectations of election irregularities were steady between February and mid-April, but declined from mid-April to early May.

“Compared to the May 2007 survey, expectations of election irregularities have increased in February 2010 and then in March 2010,” the SWS said.

Expectations of cheating in vote-counting increased from 45 percent in May 2007 to 49 percent in February 2010 and 51 percent in March 2010.

Expectations of harassment of voters increased from 30 percent in May 2007 to 34 percent in February 2010 and 45 percent in March 2010.

Expectations of the use of violence during the election campaign period slightly increased to 37 percent in March 2010 from 31 percent in February 2010, the first time SWS tested the issue.

“The expectations that there will be harassment of voters and use of violence during the election campaign period are higher in Mindanao than in the other three areas,” the SWS said.

Six out of 10 (60 percent) in Mindanao expect the harassment of voters to occur in their own locality, higher than those in balance Luzon (43 percent), Metro Manila (38 percent) and Visayas (36 percent) who expect the same.

On the possibility of the use of violence during the election campaign period, 52 percent in Mindanao expect this to happen.

Only about one-third in Metro Manila (35 percent), balance Luzon (32 percent) and Visayas (30 percent) believe that there will be violence during the campaign period in their locality.

The survey showed that expectation of vote-buying will occur in their respective localities is high in all areas.

In particular, reported expectation of vote-buying happening in their locality is slightly higher in Visayas (75 percent) and Mindanao (75 percent) than in balance Luzon (69 percent) and Metro Manila (66 percent).

A majority in Metro Manila and Mindanao expect cheating and flying voters to happen in their areas.

“Expectations of cheating in the counting of votes and flying voters are higher in Metro Manila and Mindanao than in balance Luzon and Visayas,” the SWS said.

Sixty percent in Mindanao and 58 percent in Metro Manila expect that there will be cheating in the counting of votes in their localities.

Most of those from Visayas (57 percent) and balance Luzon (52 percent), however, do not expect cheating in vote-counting to happen.

On the possibility of flying voters during the May 2010 elections, 60 percent in Mindanao and 57 percent in Metro Manila expect this to happen. In contrast, 62 percent in Visayas and 56 percent in balance Luzon do not expect the occurrence of flying voters.

In the February 2010 pre-election survey, most registered voters expect that voting will be clean and orderly in their own precinct, with 78 percent agreeing and six percent disagreeing with the statement, “In the coming elections, voting will be clean and orderly in our precinct,” for a net agreement of +71.

Expectation of clean and orderly voting is much higher in February 2010 than in February 2007, when 60 percent agreed and 14 percent disagreed with the statement, for a net agreement of +46, SWS said.

In February 2010, expectation on having clean and orderly voting in their own precinct in the May 10 elections is slightly higher in Visayas (+77) than in balance Luzon (+71), Mindanao (+70) and Metro Manila (+66).

In February 2007, net agreement to the test statement was also higher in the provincial areas (+46 to +49) than in Metro Manila (+32).

The survey also showed that 68 percent of Filipinos agree, while only eight percent disagree that, “The Comelec will honestly count the votes of the people in the coming elections,” for a net agreement of +60.

Belief in the Comelec honestly counting the votes in the elections is higher in February 2010 than in February 2007, when 53 percent agreed and 21 percent disagreed, for a net of +32, the SWS said.

Net agreement is higher in Visayas (+71) than in balance Luzon (+60), Mindanao (+56) and Metro Manila (+50), it added.

Fifty-six percent of respondents agree, while 16 percent disagree, that “In the coming May 2010 elections, there might be cheating in the count in some levels, but not limited to the precinct only,” for a net agreement of +39.

The expectation that there might be some cheating in the counting of votes slightly increased in February 2010 compared to February 2007, when 48 percent agreed and 21 percent disagreed, for a net agreement of +27.

By area, net agreement to the test statement is higher in Metro Manila (+50) and balance Luzon (+43) than in Mindanao (+36) and the Visayas (+29).

The survey used face-to-face interviews of 2,100 registered voters, divided into random samples of 300 in Metro Manila and 600 each in balance Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.

It has sampling error margins of plus or minus 2.2 percentage point for national percentages, plus or minus six points for Metro Manila, and plus or minus four points for balance Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.

The February 2010 survey was sponsored by The Asia Foundation.