[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
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Featured
Chinese scientists are designing a particle-smashing collider so massive it could encircle a city.
Critics say the government is going full-steam ahead on economic recovery at the expense of human rights.
Spirits are high in Scotland's 'Whisky Capital of the World' with one distillery thirsty for independence.
President Poroshenko arrives in Washington on Thursday with money and military aid on his mind, analysts say.
Early players in private medicine often focused on volume over quality, turning many Chinese off for-profit care.
join our mailing list