IFES and NDI conducted case study research in the Philippines to examine the country’s experience and lessons learned from the use of electronic counting technologies in its elections. This study focuses primarily on the experiences and processes surrounding the Philippines’ May 2010 elections, while the election commission went through the decision making process in moving to electronic technologies prior to 2010. The Philippines began the process of moving toward electronic technologies for elections in the 1990s. After a series of small pilots, electronic counting technology was introduced nationwide for the May 10, 2010 elections. This transition presented an enormous challenge to the country. Approximately 50 million registered voters spread over approximately 2,000 inhabited islands had the opportunity to participate in the polls. The elections involved more than 85,000 candidates for more than 17,000 national (President, Vice President, House of Representatives and Senate) and local positions. The lessons drawn from the 2010 experience not only inform future efforts in the Philippines, but are relevant for other countries considering or implementing electronic voting and counting technologies.
This case study focused on the transition to electronic counting and use these technologies in the 2010 elections. For this reason, and because it was conducted before the May 2013 elections, the study does not take into account the May 13, 2013 general elections, in which voters elected 12 senators (half of the Senate), all 229 district members of the House of Representatives and local and gubernatorial positions.
The case study combined desk research of primary source documents and reports with nearly 30 key informant interviews with 45 individuals in Manila from May 21-28, 2012. The interviewees included current and former representatives of electoral management bodies, advisory committees, government, political parties, former candidates, nonpartisan citizen election observation groups, information technology (IT) experts, polling firms and media.
Philippines: Choosing to Adopt Electronic Technologies