ABOUT four in every 10 Filipinos believe that there will be cheating in the May 2016 elections while less than half of those polled expect the national and local polls to be clean and credible, according to the latest Pulse Asia survey.
Results of the survey held from January 24 to 28, 2016 showed that 39 percent of the respondents were sure that candidates will cheat while 29 percent believed otherwise.
The results also showed that 32 percent of those polled were ambivalent on the issue.
Nearly seven out of 10 Filipinos or 65 percent said there will be massive vote-buying, a scheme that has been prevalent in previous polls, while 37 percent believe that there will be tampering of vote-counting machines.
Other forms of cheating that the respondents believe will occur are changing the actual vote count (32 percent) and the deployment of flying voters (31 percent).
Voters hoarding, replacing ballots inserted in machines, threatening other voters and election officers, and machines being stolen as well as brownouts were also among the forms of cheating schemes that the respondents said will occur.
The survey involved 1,800 registered voters 18 years old and above and has a ± 2 percent error margin at the 95 percent confidence level.
Majority of Mindanao respondents (56 percent) believe that cheating will occur in the coming synchronized polls while a big plurality of those in the Balance Luzon (41 percent) were undecided.
The Pulse Asia survey was conducted two weeks after the start of the election period on January 10.
On the other hand, the survey also found out that 48 percent of Filipinos believe that the May 9 polls ‘’will be clean and the results credible because the counting of votes is automated.’’
The opinion that the elections will be clean is predominant in Class E (51 percent), the Visayas (56 percent) and Metro Manila (59 percent).
While the disagreement or agreement on the integrity of the polls this year hardly differed from the March 2013 findings, ambivalence on the issue was more pronounced.
Pulse Asia noted that Filipinos remain divided over the issue of political dynasty, reporting that 32 percent of the respondents agreed with the statement, “One should not vote for candidates who have children, spouses, siblings or parents who are current or former elected government officials.”
In contrast, 34 percent of the respondents disagreed with the statement. Another 34 percent were undecided.
Half of Metro Manilans (50 percent) disagreed with the view that candidates coming from political dynasties should not be elected into office.
Pulse Asia noted that this group saw significant movements as far as public opinion on this matter is concerned (+11 on level of agreement and -13 on level of ambivalence).