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Glitches still mar elections

Times have changed, but not the glitches that continue to mar our elections for local or national positions.
As in every election, a number of voters were unable to find their names on the voters’ list last Monday although they registered with the Commission on Elections (Comelec).

Through its social media account, the Philippine Information Agency reported episodes of voters failing to find their names on the Comelec master list or voters’ list in Kalinga and Zamboanga City.

Poll violence and fraud in Maguindanao where a person was reportedly shot dead compelled volunteers for the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting to move out of Cotabato City for safety’s sake.

There were a number of reports of pre-shaded ballots, faulty vote counting machines (VCMs) and other irregularities which some politicians saw as part of massive electoral fraud.

Malfunctioning VCMs that delayed the start of elections were reported not only in Metro Manila but in provinces like Capiz, Romblon, Leyte, Negros Occidental, and Masbate.

Comelec also acknowledged that there was massive vote-buying where money and grocery items were given to voters. Some barangay captains were allegedly offered as much as P50,000 to help a candidate win. Some voters were paid P500 to as high as P3,000.

Some devious politicians reportedly paid supporters of their rivals and compelled them to put blue ink on their right index finger, which prevented them from voting even if they proceeded to the polling center.

To top all of these, seven election volunteers were ambushed and killed by armed men in Rosario, Cavite a few hours before voting began. One of their companions survived. The victims were allegedly on their way to a place where vote-buying was taking place.

We can blame no one but the Comelec officials when it comes to irregularities in VCMs, pre-shaded ballots and missing names in polling precincts.

Election comes but once and they have all the remaining days in a three-year period to take care of all the problems that may occur. Yet, they still fail miserably every election.

The vote-buying and election-related violence can be attributed to the failure of the government, particularly the police, to curb anomalies and provide the proper security to our people.

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