Philippines' first automated elections kick off
 updatetime:2010-05-10 16:18:12   View:0 Source:xinhua
    The first automated elections of the Philippines kicked off on Monday
The first automated elections of the Philippines kicked off on Monday. The country's 36,679 polling stations opened at 7 a.m. and is due to close one hour after the schedule, the election body said. Queues formed at many polling stations before the opening.
 
 
Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo was the first to cast vote at the Lubao Central Elementary School in Pampanga province, her hometown, on Monday. GMA Network's live coverage showed President Arroyo arrived early at the polling center, together with her eldest son, Rep. Juan Miguel "Mikey" Arroyo.
 
The four top presidential candidates cast their votes in their respective hometown on Monday. The latest survey conducted by Social Weather Station on May 2 and May 3 showed Liberal Party candidate Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III got a 42 percent preference rate, 22 percent ahead of former President Joseph Estrada, who got 20 percent.
 
"Noynoy" Aquino III has arrived at the polling station but yet to cast his vote in his home province of Tarlac in northern Philippines after the voting machines bogged down. There was no spare voting machines that he and the other votes could use. As of Monday noon he had to wait for a Smartmatic-TIM technician to fix the problem. Nacionalista Party standard-bearer Sen. Manny Villar has cast his vote and is now eagerly awaiting the results. He said he is relieved to get over the ordeal.
 
It only took presidential bet Gilbert "Gibo" Teodoro 10 minutes to finish the entire voting process at the Carabaoan Caocaoayan Elementary School in Tarlac, the same province where Noynoy Aquino is also voting. "I will monitor the election and I urge everyone to be vigilant. I ran a good campaign and is prepared whether I win or lose," Teodoro said.
 
Another top presidential bet Joseph Ejercito Estrada is said to cast his vote this afternoon.
 
Philippine World boxing champion and congressional candidate Manny Pacquiao cast his vote at past 8 a.m. Monday.
 
As this was the first automated elections ever held in the history of this island country, Philippine Commissioner of the Election Commission (Comelec) Gregorio Larrazabal said "We are both nervous and excited" at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) in Pasay City. "Nervous because you really don't know what to expect; excited because this is it. A lot of Filipinos are looking forward to this day," he added.
                                                                                            Web Editor:Wang Ping
                                                                                             
Web Editor:王平