^

Poll automation machine demo held

() - August 14, 2009 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - With only nine months to go before the May 2010 elections, will poll automation be the answer to the massive cheating during elections?

This was the question raised during the poll automation demonstration organized by the Commission on Elections and the Rotary Club at the Casino Español to erase any doubts on the efficiency of the computerized election machines.

The entire system is priced at P720 million.

Elections in the Philippines have been characterized by massive cheating, vote buying, and voter intimidation, but Comelec spokesman Mark Jimenez said that the machine will lessen, if not eliminate, the “ills” of election.

“The machine has no intelligence of its own, it will only read what it has seen, it does not address vote buying. Automation does not replace the election system, it only prevents cheating, manipulation results,” Jimenez said yesterday.

Jimenez said that Comelec has signed a contract with Smartmatic-Total Information Management and will start the preparations for the historic first automation program for the Philippines’ general elections next year and end the manual system that has been blamed for electoral fraud in past elections.

But Cebu Citizen’s Involvement and Maturation in People Empowerment and Liberation (C-Cimpel) executive director Marilu Chiongbian said that voter’s vigilance will always be an efficient way to address election fraud.

Although Chiongbian embraces poll automation, she said that still the public should step up for honest and clean elections.

“It’s only an enhancement, it will not address the problem, we voters should be vigilant of our votes,” Chiongbian said.

Meanwhile, Jimenez said in the course of implementing the highly-anticipated automation project, Smartmatic-TIM and Comelec will be hiring over 100 people for their project management team and 42,000 for their technical manpower teams.

Under the automation system, the Comelec has reduced the number of polling precincts from 250,000 in the 2007 elections to just 80,000 for the 2010 elections. Smartmatic-TIM is mandated to supply 82,500 voting machines, with 2,500 machines serving as backups. One precinct count optical scan machine will cover about 1,000 voters. — Jasmin R. Uy/BRP (THE FREEMAN)

ALTHOUGH CHIONGBIAN AUTOMATION BUT CEBU CITIZEN CASINO ESPA COMELEC ELECTIONS ELECTIONS AND THE ROTARY CLUB INVOLVEMENT AND MATURATION JASMIN R JIMENEZ MARILU CHIONGBIAN
  • Latest
  • Trending
Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

FORGOT PASSWORD?
SIGN IN
or sign in with