[QODLink]
ASIA-PACIFIC
Philippine fears over machine poll
Many question reliability of scanning machines to be used to speed up counting of votes.
Last Modified: 09 May 2010 02:57 GMT

Saturday marks the last day of campaigning for Philippines' general elections, which will be a huge test for the country's first ever automated polling system.

Preparations for the use of the 82,000 scanning machines, which are expected to speed up the count of some 50 million voters and help avoid human error or rigging, have been going on for months.

But in recent tests on them, sample votes were miscounted and more than 90 per cent of the memory cards, which give instructions to the machines for reading ballots, had to be replaced.

Al Jazeera's Marga Ortigas, reporting from Manila, the Philippines' capital, said there are widespread fears that the system could lead to a failure of Monday's elections.

Joel Rocamora, a research associate for the Institute for Popular Democracy, says it would not be unfair to say that "this election suffers from serious mistrust problems".

But he sees hope for change in Noynoy Aquino, the new popular candidate for president, who has a 22-point lead in opinion polls.

"Everyone is convinced that senator Aquino will become the new president and that sets the base for dealing with the problems," Rocamora told Al Jazeera.

"It is very clear that an Aquino presidency will deal with corruption problems. It is part of the nature of his family legacy and has a lot to do with his campaign, which is the first campaign with a really massive volunteer engagement."

Source:
Al Jazeera
Featured on Al Jazeera
Muslim volunteers face questioning and threat of arrest, while aid has been disrupted or blocked, charities say.
Six months on, outrage and sorrow over the mass schoolgirl abduction has disappeared - except for families in Nigeria.
ISIL combatants seeking an 'exit strategy' from Mideast conflict need positive reinforcement back home, analysts say.
European nation hit by a wave of Islamophobia as many young fighters join ISIL in Syria and Iraq.
Featured
Lack of child protection laws means abandoned and orphaned kids rely heavily on the care of strangers.
At least 25 tax collectors have been killed since 2012 in Mogadishu, a city awash in weapons and abject poverty.
Since she was 16-years-old, Scottish Nationalist Party's Sturgeon has strove for independence from the UK.
Armed group's ransom success with German hostages marks a re-emergence, as authorities investigate ISIL links.
Western nations are moving into the resource-rich country after decades of disinterest, challenging China's interests.