A vote-sharing anomaly or a mere election trending?
A Math professor at the Ateneo Manila University posted a Facebook status that not only got the attention of the Commission on Elections (Comelec), but also cast doubts on the reliability and accuracy of the Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines.
Professor Lex Muga has discovered a very interesting pattern that split election results into what is now known as 60-30-10 votes sharing. This pattern shows that Team PNoy, President Noynoy Aquino’s political party, received at least 60% of the canvassed votes, followed by United Nationalist Alliance, Vice-President Jejomar Binay’s political party, that obtained a share of at least 30 percent, while the remaining 10% went to independent candidates.
The Ateneo academic posted what he discovered on Facebook describing it as “an interesting pattern”.
Prof. Muga made the following comment:
This is an interesting pattern. How about adding the votes of the 33 senatorial candidates? Then add all the votes of the 12 Team PNoy candidates? Also, the 9 UNA candidates? And the 12 other candidates? Then find the percentages of each of the 3 blocks based on the total votes for senators. Do these to each of the 16 official comelec canvass reports. And we have a smooth and interesting pattern.
Here’s a snapshot of his Facebook post:
The professor agreed with a Facebook commenter who described the pattern as something “like the work of the Law of Large Numbers.”
The commenter defined this mathematical law as “as the number of values in the sample gets larger, the average of these numbers gets closer to the actual mean (proportion is actually a mean of binary numbers).”
Wikipedia defines the Law of Large Numbers as “the average of the results obtained from a large number of trials should be close to the expected value, and will tend to become closer as more trials are performed.”
A Facebook group called Lingganay Han Kamatuoran also reported that the total senatorial votes canvassed in Tacloban City, Leyte, Region 8 (Eastern Visayas), with a total number of 189 Clustered Precincts, also “indicate an interestingly similar 60-30-10 pattern of votes sharing.”
The group added:
Specifically, Team PNoy bets enjoy 60.90% share of total senatorial votes while UNA bets have 29.66% and Makabayan (including all other) Independent candidates got 9.44% share of senatorial votes.
The following are Facebook posts by Prof. Muga:
“The votes considered are the newly-counted votes in each canvass report. The votes considered in each canvass came from different provinces and highly-urbanized cities in the country.”
Prof.Muga: “Going back to Team PNoy, UNA, and the Independents Using 16 canvass reports.
The votes considered in the computation are the cumulative votes per canvass.”
Prof. Muga: “This second image shows the vital signs of the percentage share of the actual increase of the votes of the winners and that of the losers in each canvass report from the first to the 16th.”
Prof. Muga: “This image shows the vital signs of the percentage share of the cumulative votes of the winners and that of the losers in each canvass report from the first to the 16th.”
Although Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes downplayed the votes sharing pattern as a mere “trending”, he said his office would look into it.
The election chairman told GMA News he already instructed his men to study the accuracy of the patterns. The official said that the National Canvass Report for the senatorial race indicated that 60% of the votes goes to the Team PNoy, 30% to UNA, and 10% to independent candidates.
However, Brillantes stressed there is nothing really unusual with it, adding:
“Ang eleksyon sa Pilipinas talaga namang ganun. Usually, may trending na at ganun nangyayari as we move on to the results… If the trend is created, I think the trend will follow through ‘til the end.”
In a GMA News interview, Muga described his discovery as an “interesting pattern” that looks like “60-30-10”.
Ang tanong ko, bakit ‘pag kunin mo ‘yung mga actual votes sa first canvass, second canvass, kuha sila mula sa isang probinsiya, lang bakit 60-30-10 pa rin? Hanggang 16. ‘Di ba manggagaling naman sa iba-ibang probinsiya ang COCs (certificates of canvass) eh? So baka ‘di dapat ganun. Dapat merong variation,” Muga said in an interview aired on GMA News’ 24 Oras.
A number of keen political observers also started to cast doubts on the election results, while a newly elected lawmaker said there seems to be something fishy with the pattern.
Navotas Rep. Toby Tiangco, in a GMA News story, said:
“It cannot be for the same percentage naman, ‘di ba? For example, ako nanalo ako sa lahat ng barangay dito sa Navotas. In fact, nanalo ako sa lahat ng clustered precincts dito sa Navotas, pero hindi naman pare-pareho ang porsyento ng panalo ko sa lahat ng presinto, ‘di ba? So mas lalo naman siguro mahirap gawin ‘yun sa buong Pilipinas pare-pareho percentage ng strength mo.”
For his part, Marikina Rep. Miro Quimbo, spokesman of the administration coalition, described the pattern “as a result of a great message campaign led by the President himself and an aggressive ground war pursued by local parties allied with the President.” The newly elected lawmaker also dismissed it as “some ridiculous theory anchored on electoral fraud.”
Still, latest election updates show that the votes for the senatorial position appear to be consistent with the 60-30-10 pattern favoring the administration coalition.
In the United States, a mathematician named Nate Silver was said to have correctly predicted the 2012 election results using complex, highly sophisticated computer calculations. This Daily Mail report states Silver’s methodology “involves running hundreds of calculations for each state based on myriad factors, including election results from the past and polling data.”
However, I believe we cannot compare election results in America and in the Philippines, since elections in the United States are governed by its Electoral College system.
But to determine whether the pattern is merely a “trend” or a possible symptom/sign of hi-tech election fraud, investigators might do the following techniques:
- Get the total votes of the top 12 senatorial candidates and/or get the total votes of all the 33 senatorial bets.
- Compare this year’s election results with the 2010 election results (to see if similar pattern exists).
- Determine the consistency of the pattern.
Pinoy Twitter-world’s reaction to this issue