MANILA, Philippines – A majority or 61 percent of Filipinos have little knowledge about the automated election system (AES), but a significant number remain optimistic that the automatic counting of votes will result in clean elections with credible results, a latest survey by the Pulse Asia revealed yesterday.
The survey, conducted from Oct. 22 to 30, found that only four in 10 Filipinos (40 percent) admitted to knowing little about it and about two in 10 (21 percent) said that they have almost no knowledge about the new system to be used in the May 2010 elections.
On the other hand, only 13 percent claim to have a great deal of knowledge about the AES while 26 percent say they know enough about it.
The Commission on Elections (Comelec) welcomed the results of the Pulse Asia survey.
Comelec Commissioners Gregorio Larrazabal and Rene Sarmiento said this is still a positive development since four out of 10 respondents are already aware of the new technology.
Sarmiento added that the results of the survey done in October may no longer be accurate at this time.
“We have been proactive in our voters’ education campaign, so I think after the survey, many of those surveyed were already informed of the computerized election machines,” Sarmiento said.
Across geographic areas and socio-economic classes, about the same percentages of those in Metro Manila and Class ABC either have enough or little knowledge of the AES (35 percent versus 33 percent and 36 percent versus 31 percent, respectively).
In the rest of Luzon, Visayas, Mindanao, and Classes D and E, big pluralities to near majorities (36 percent to 47 percent) know little about the AES.
Meanwhile, the latest survey also revealed that four in 10 Filipinos (40 percent) think that the automatic counting of votes will result in clean elections with credible results; less than two in 10 (16 percent) hold the opposite view while another four in 10 (43 percent) were undecided regarding automation’s possible effect on the forthcoming elections.
Big pluralities to small majorities (47 percent to 54 percent) of those in western Visayas and Mindanao, particularly Regions 9, 11, 12, and the ARMM, believe that the outcome of next year’s elections will be credible due to the automation of vote counting. – –Helen Flores (The Philippine Star) with Rainier Allan Ronda, Mayen Jaymalin