2008 Mission Report: Philippines Regional Election – Autonomous Muslim Mindanao
The Philippines’ Commission on Elections (COMELEC) used automated election systems during the recent election of a Regional Governor, Vice Regional Governor and Assemblyman for the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM). COMELEC is authorized to use automated election systems, whether paper based or direct recording electronic systems, by the Republic Act No. 969. COMELEC selected the ARMM’s six provinces to test two new automated election systems for the first time. Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) were used in the province of Maguindanao and Automated Counting Machines (ACMs) were used in the provinces of Lanao Del Sur, Shariff-Kabunsuan, Basilan, Sulu and Tawi Tawi.
Local monitoring organizations and international observers saw much potential for electoral processes in the Philippines to improve during the 2008 ARMM regional elections. It was hoped that the new EVMs and ACMs would reduce voting irregularities, and that
institutions in the Philippines would resolve the many problems that have occurred during past elections. From the pre-election period until the result was announced, ANFREL’s 22 observers devoted their attention to voters’ behavior, the electoral laws and regulations, the performance of independent institutions, the work of the Board of Election Inspectors (BEI) and the process of the election generally.