^

Opinion

EDITORIAL - Preparing for 2016

The Philippine Star

Potential rivals in the 2016 elections have started duking it out, political realignments are underway, and parties are beginning to build up war chests for the campaign. Like preparations for Christmas, politicians in this country believe it’s never too early to prepare for elections. The agency tasked to supervise the elections should have the same mindset.

Registration of new voters and collection of biometric data from those already registered are ongoing as the Commission on Elections updates voters’ lists. Purging the lists of “ghost” and “flying” voters is a never-ending effort. Millions of voters who had their biometric data collected in recent years are still waiting for the promised voter’s identification card.

Alongside the updating of voters’ lists, the Comelec must begin putting the voting machines through their paces. Comelec officials, citing insufficient funding, have announced that the same machines used for the first time in the 2010 general elections and re-used last year would again be used in the 2016 polls.

The 82,000 precinct count optical scan or PCOS machines, provided by Smartmatic International Corp., would be too costly to replace, according to Comelec officials. The poll body needs about 40,000 additional machines. Comelec officials have assured the public that with a bit of refurbishing, the PCOS machines are good as new.

The machines did not disappoint in 2010, the first time the country had fully automated elections. Filipinos were delighted to hear from then Comelec chief Jose Melo the unofficial results of the race for president just a few hours after the polling centers closed. Although Congress as usual took its sweet time in canvassing and formally proclaiming the winners in the national contests, Filipinos welcomed the release of unofficial results in record time. There was no going back to the snail-paced manual vote.

The speed of the automated vote generally reduced opportunities for election fraud including vote buying. Poll automation, however, was not without its glitches, which some quarters cited in complaints about cheating. With the nation becoming familiar with the PCOS machines, such complaints are expected to increase in 2016.

After deciding to keep the PCOS machines, the Comelec must ensure that the integrity of the 2016 vote will be unassailable and winners will have a clear mandate. Good governance starts with clean and orderly elections.

 

vuukle comment

ALTHOUGH CONGRESS

COMELEC

ELECTIONS

JOSE MELO

MACHINES

PCOS

SMARTMATIC INTERNATIONAL CORP

TIME

VOTE

VOTERS

  • Latest
  • Trending
Latest
Latest
abtest
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!

Get Updated:

Signup for the News Round now

FORGOT PASSWORD?
SIGN IN
or sign in with