The conduct of the automated elections in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) early this month was successful, but cheating at the precinct levels remained, poll watchdog Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) said Sunday.
“The PPCRV’s assessment on the last ARMM polls is that the conduct of the elections was successful although we still observed some irregularities,” PPCRV’s Ric Rivera said in radio dzMM interview.
Rivera said the group saw incidents of vote buying, flying voters, disenfranchisement and non-use of indelible ink in some polling centers. He added that minors who are not yet qualified to vote were also able to cast their ballots on August 11.
The group said it is pushing for the cleansing of voters’ lists in order to address these problems.
With the new computerized elections, he also noted that the secrecy of the ballots was compromised because the voters were not yet familiar with the machines.
Despite the hitches, he pointed out a significant decrease in election-related violence and the high voters’ turnout.
Rivera also said an automated election should be pushed for 2010 presidential elections in order to prevent the manipulation of poll results and for fast counting of votes.
PPCRV’s assessment of the ARMM elections also echoed the initial evaluations of other poll observers such as Asian Network of Free Elections, Legal Network for Truthful Elections and Citizens Coalition for ARMM Electoral Reforms (CARE).
The PPCRV is set to present its full report on the ARMM elections next month, Rivera said.