Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Elections in Bohol Organized and Orderly - Int'l Election Observers

Bohol election observers share their experience at a press briefing in Tagbilaran City. 
The International election observers found the conduct of the May 9 elections here in Bohol generally “organized and orderly”.

In a press briefing here on Tuesday, May 10th, the team deployed to sixteen voting precincts in Panglao, Tagbilaran, Baclayon, Tubigon and Inabanga, Bohol as part of the Compact for Peaceful and Democratic Elections (COMPACT) - International Observers Mission (IOM) 2016 said the voting process here was well coordinated.

Further, they expressed their admiration for the people who were very patient in lining up under the heat of the sun to exercise their right to vote.

The group, comprised of development workers and youth leaders from Germany and the USA, admired the dedication of the teachers and poll watchers to the democratic process. One observer from the US found the high voter percentage in the Philippines interesting when compared to the generally very low voter turnout in the US elections.

Another observer, who also participated in the IOM in 2013, thought that the difference of machines used “improved the system”, and opined that the printing of receipts was a “good step”. The problems they did observe were mostly technical problems involving the Vote Counting Machines (VCM), where paper jams were reported by the BEIs. During the transmission period, signal problems also resulted to transmission delays or failures.

Election observers Marcelo Trautmann and Celi Tamayo-Lee at a polling precinct in Cuaming Island, Inabanga, Bohol.
Their recommendations include more fine-tuning of the machines and making more technicians available in each polling place, which will be especially useful in remote areas such as island barangays.

One key recommendation is intensifying the Philippine electoral education system that should be taught starting in the schools.

Apart from Bohol, other groups from the COMPACT International Election Observers’ mission went to observe the elections in the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), Dinagat Islands and Santiago, Isabela. They are set to complete their full report, to be submitted to the COMELEC, within the month.

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