Automated Election? How true in 2010……

With all this “politicking” from aspiring candidates who have now (slightly) started their campaign for the 2010 election, a “planned” Automated Election shouldn’t be left behind

An editorial from Manila Times entitled Open Election System (OES) in 2010 stated the growing sentiment of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) concerning the upcoming automated election in 2010. This because the Commission on Elections (Comelec) had proposed to the Senate that it will be using the so-called Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines instead of DRE (Direct Recording Electronic) and OMR (Optical Mark Reader) which had helped the ARMM vote-counting to be a success. However, CBCP expressed their concern that “these technologies seem to be very costly in terms of procurement and storage and do not exactly guarantee fraud-free election results.” It endorsed the so-called Open Election System (OES)” (investing.businessweek.com).

While it’s quite technical to discuss how PCOS, DRE and OMR operate, Comelec argued that PCOS machine is much better because it is an improved OMR. “PCOS involves the use of machines reading or scanning optical paper ballots that voters have marked by hand. The votes shown in each scanned ballot are then automatically added in a computerized tally for every “clustered precinct.” Under this system, precincts would have to be clustered, otherwise there would have to be hundreds of thousands of precincts to be equipped with PCOS machines. With cluttering, only 80,000 PCOS machines need to be deployed throughout thePhilippines” (investing.businessweek.com).

I bet it’s too technical.

With P113 billion “approved” supplemental budget for the automated 2010 election, I hope that President Arroyo would live up to one of her nationalistic plans under the Medium-Term Development that emphasizes electoral reforms by pursuing an automated elections that is said to be ‘essential to political stability.’

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