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Business Mirror: Automation gets thumbs up

The first computerized national elections in the Philippines have made a good impression among voters surveyed this month in the National Capital Region, with 97 percent saying they are satisfied with the overall performance of the poll automation, while 3 percent said they are not satisfied with it.

Prof. Alfredo S. Sureta Jr., executive director of StratPOLLS, said on Wednesday the survey was undertaken in eight key areas of the region: Caloocan, Quezon City, Valenzuela, Pasig, Pasay, Manila, Makati and Las Piñas, using a sample base of 500 respondents in a metropolis which earlier gave President-elect Benigno Aquino III a rating of 46.2 percent of the votes in the premier region.

Satisfaction ratings of 100 percent each were registered in Valenzuela, Manila, Makati and Las Piñas. Voters in Caloocan registered 97-percent satisfied, and Pasig 96 percent. Quezon City and Pasay scored the lowest satisfaction rating with 92 percent each.

Sureta said the high satisfaction for the overall performance of the May 10 automation was registered, notwithstanding the fact that voters waited in long lines for their turn to vote, including Mr. Aquino himself, who waited four hours in his own precinct in Tarlac City together with members of his family.

One of the country's four polling firms that tracked presidential surveys with fair accuracy

It will be recalled that StratPOLLS, sister company of the BusinessMirror, Philippines Graphic, dwIZ and Home Radio, was one of the country?s four polling firms which tracked and predicted with fair accuracy the outcome of the national elections showing Aquino leading in all of its five national survey projects starting in September of 2009 until the pre-election survey of May 2, 2010.

''Had it not been for Aquino's landslide victory, the automation of the recent elections could have been placed under a cloud of doubt, let alone the results,'' said Sureta.

He also said the voting public accepted the results of the poll automation without widespread public outcry or street protests, notwithstanding a wide disparity in the results of the top two positions where Aquino won by a landslide margin while his running mate Sen. Mar Roxas II lost by a narrow margin over rival candidate Makati Mayor Jejomar Binay.

Voting public has matured but...
''It appears that the voting public has matured almost overnight insofar as shifting from the tedious manual counting to automation is concerned,'' said Sureta.

Asked if he believed the results of the poll reflected the true will of the people, Sureta said, ''It appeared that cheating was absent, or at least was very minimal, in the May 10 polls, notwithstanding the last-minute problem encountered with the flash cards days before election day.''

''Although we could expect a lot of headaches in the elections of 2013 simply because those who really intend to cheat would have made digital adjustments by then,'' he concluded.

The StratPOLLS survey on poll automation was conducted by telephone from June 6 to 9, 2010, with a margin of error of 3 percent more or less.

http://www.businessmirror.com.ph/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=26876:automation-gets-thumbs-up&catid=23:topnews&Itemid=58