My spouse and i. Introduction
The Precinct Count Optical Check (PCOS) or perhaps Optical Indicate Reader (OMR) technology program adopted by the Commission upon Elections (Comelec) under the present political conditions and capability of the nation’s election administrator, the Comelec, will make the full electoral process bereft of reliability, transparency, or voter contribution. With no electronic digital technology being invented that may be safe from individual intervention just like hacking and other types of computer attacks, the system probably will lead to inexpensive electronic cheating.
Unbeknownst for the public and media, it is going to trigger a scramble intended for control of the real key to the hardware and software technology among the moneyed and powerful. The May 2010 synchronized countrywide and local elections where total automation or perhaps full electric voting to be used for the first time is a major personal event which should not end up being measured or perhaps prepared for solely on the installation of technology. It should be found rather together political workout that is still dominated by elite underneath the Arroyo government and in which electronic technology may be altered to allow the oligarchs to stay in electricity.
Such possibility has become more robust with the entrenchment of powerful fraud machineries, with the Comelec yet to fix its credibility problem plus the overarching area of issue election scam is but to be decisively addressed. The newest technology program will be inside the hands of those powers however the winning prospective buyer which will probably be a international company likewise shares this power. Underneath these conditions, the technology preferred by Comelec will certainly all the more reinforce the sneaky character of the traditional electoral process. The overall electoral struggle that seeks to bring progressive, non-traditional minds with a strong tone of voice in Congress and in different elective positions has usually included the campaign to help make the Comelec self-employed and to have an open, transparent, and reputable elections. The automation from the elections warrants the someones support ” but simply insofar as it promotes the principle of “secret voting and open public counting; for as long as it could make the polls clean, clear, and reliable and gives election stakeholders especially the arrêters some lat. and freedom to participate and contest election results, among others.
Despite what is today evolving, the modernization in the country’s political election system is meant to promote and enhance ” not limit or constrain ” the people’s voting rights since an expression of their sovereign capacity to choose the kind of government those deserve. The Comelec’s PCOS (OMR) is drawing raising opposition via leading THIS specialists, laptop science academe, independent centers engaged in electoral struggle and governance and members of Congress, the interfaith community and other critics. From their perspective, the technology system is prone to wholesale electronic cheating (by external cracking, internal rigging, or various other means) made possible by the fraudulence machineries, solutions and power of the regime ” for instance, of additional powerful traditional politicians, TNCs, and another power.
The use of PCOS (OMR) will likely translate to large election failures and the disenfranchisement of an incredible number of voters. Comelec’s technology system makes counting, canvassing, and consolidation of election data invisible and difficult to track and they are made therefore fast concerning make the processing of election protests impossible and election watching extremely difficult if perhaps not a futile exercise. Under the PCOS or perhaps OMR, the fate from the 2010 elections could be decided simply by Malacanang, Comelec, the winning bidder, and the cheats. The opposition for the PCOS (OMR) has included not only a review of the numerous internal weak points, errors, and vulnerabilities of the technology while experienced all over the world including inside the Philippines’ August 2008 ARMM elections nevertheless also types of procedures being attacked and implemented by the Comelec as particular in its Ask for Proposal (RfP) / Terms of Guide (ToR).
In opposing, there is a need to reveal the perceived manipulative persona of the Arroyo government and the traditional election period that will be made more dangerous by the type of technology chosen by the Comelec. At the same time, there is a have to put forward option technologies that seek to make the elections clear and open, allowing and encouraging more engagement from the people and entry to electoral data even as we all remain cautious against the fraud machineries with the government and also other traditional politics forces. We have to also put forward mechanisms and safeguards allowing more area for community intervention just like legal protests and other problems to scam.
As an alternative to closed technologies including the OMR and DRE, we propose an automated election system that is like parameters/requirements of exercising the people’s democratic rights ” the right of suffrage, right of usage of public information, yet others ” producing poll watching viable and effective, and allowing political election protests to be filed to fulfill specific objectives; where we are able to overcome constraints. We support a system where the people, along with their organizations, political parties, and poll watch groups may be allowed to move around, have access to, and intervene in the various processes or levels of the automatic election system ranging from voting, to counting, and canvassing; in filing election protests to the proclamation of winners.
A) Foreign History
The company was contracted in 2004 for the automation of electoral processes in Venezuela. Since 2004, the election technology has been employed in 25 local and national elections: in Venezuela, UNITED STATES, CuraÃ§ao, Athens, Brazil as well as the Philippines. The mileage comes with more than 1 . 5 billion audited votes, each having a voter-verified branded receipt, solid using several 193, 1000 voting devices installed in some 330, 1000 poll centers. On August 11, 08, automated regional elections were held in the Philippines’ Autonomous Area of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM). In the Maguindanao province, voters used Smartmatic’s electronic voting machines, while voters inside the other 5 provinces (Shariff Kabunsuan, Lanao del Sur, Basilan, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi) used physically marked ballots processed employing OMRtechnology. The general reaction of both public and authorities was positive toward the solution. In May 2010, Smartmatic automated the National Elections in the Republic of the Philippines. The process involved 50. six million arrêters choosing by more than eighty five, 000 individuals contesting for 17, 000 posts.
In October 2012. Smartmatic took part in in the elections of 3 countries. In Venezuela, October six, for the first time on the globe, national polls were accomplished with biometric voter authentication to switch on the voting machines. Away of 18, 903, 143 citizens signed up to political election in the presidential elections, voter turnout was around 81%, both record figures in Venezuelan electoral history. Similar day, Smartmatic provided selection support to get data and voice marketing and sales communications to the of sixteen most remote states in Brazil, and also battery power support to voting machines. These services implied hiring and training 18, 000 professionals who worked well at 480, 000 polling stations, repairing over five-hundred, 000 bits of election tools.
On Oct 14, 2012, Belgium employed Smartmatic’s technology and managed services to handle regional polls in 153 communes in the Flanders and Brussels-Capital regions. The solution used was developed based on the strict criteria and recommendations set forth by Belgian regulators. USP (from Smartmatic Secureness Solutions) was installed much more than five-hundred branches of Santander-Serfin Lender, (Mexico). Seeing that 2006, school of the Mayor of Metropolitan Caracas in Venezuela started out the installation of the integrated open public security system in order to authorities to provide immediate replies to residents whose security has been jeopardized. In 2011, The District of Cartagena in Colombia picked Smartmatic as technology supplier for the modern Financial Administration Service in the Integrated Mass Transit System (Transcribe) that can operate depending on a highly computerized Fare collection and navy control program.
The Smartmatic Identity Supervision Solution has become deployed in Bolivia (Biometric Voter Subscription for the Bolivian Countrywide Electoral Court docket (July 2009 ” October 2009) with 5. 2 million people registered); Mexico (Provision of enrolment ports and software program for the National IDENTIFICATION Program of the Secretariat of Governance (Dec 2009 ” Dec 2012) with 75 million people to be registered); and Nyimba, zambia (Provision of enrolment terminals and software for Digital Mobile Décider Registration contracted by The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) & Electoral Commission of Zambia (February 2010 ” October 2010)).
B) National History
In September, immediately after the May 1992 Synchronized Nationwide and Local Elections, Operation MODEX, which means Modernization and Excellence, was created in a strategic planning workshop in Tagaytay City that was participated in by almost all COMELEC crucial officials from the Chairman plus the Commissioners, down to all the office and regional directors. Through this seminar, modernization of the electoral process was recognized as one of the 8-10 (8) aspects of Operation MODEX. Thus started out the modernization efforts in the COMELEC underneath the able management of then Chairman Christian S. Monsod. In 06, a study titled “Modernizing Philippine Elections by an international specialist in political election administration, Ms. Marie Garber of Rockville, Maryland, UNITED STATES, in cooperation with the Filipino Computer Culture (PCS), sought alternative technology to modernize the electoral process in the Thailand. The services of Ms. Garber and the PCS consultants were caught under the banner of the Un Development System (UNDP).
The importance of the Garber Report is the fact it dished up to affirm the direction of the COMELEC, as within its six-year Operation MODEX program (1992 ” 1998), and that that presented many available solutions in the COMELEC’s modernization work to modernize the Philippine electoral process. The subsequent month, in July, of the same year, based on the Garber Report, Andersen Consulting did an Information Systems Planning (ISP) Study pertaining to the COMELEC, in account of the PERSONAL COMPUTERS, which, and others, made a preliminary evaluation of voting and canvassing products and suggested consideration of either the optical draw sense or punchcard program as possible technology fitted for Philippine environment.
The COMELEC made sure that conduct with the public ventures in its firm in connection with it is modernization program, in its actions and cordons with public and private companies, would be clear, promulgating an answer (Res. Number 2616) to this effect inside the month of August. Right after, the COMELEC sent asks for for proposals/bids to suppliers shortlisted inside the July Andersen ISP analyze and to various other local and foreign of canvassing equipment. Two months later on, in March, a 15-day inspection visit to the United States was performed by a particular COMELEC staff, composed of: 1 ) then Commissioner-in-Charge of the Modernization Project ” Regalado Maambong, 2 . in that case Planning Department Director ” Mamasapunod Aguam, 3. then Finance Services Department Overseer ” Ernesto Herrera, 5. then Specialized Consultant pertaining to the Modernization Project in the Commission ” Mr. Alwin Sta. Rosa, and a few. then Andersen Consulting Director ” Mr. Baltazar Endriga The inspection trip crew met with the next while in the ALL OF US:
1 . Business Records Organization (BRC), The state of texas
installment payments on your Sequoia Pacific voting Products, Inc., Nyc
3. National Computers International (NCSI), Minnesota
4. Unilect Corporation, Washington dc
a few. Officials of San Mateo County, express of A bunch of states
6. paper suppliers/manufacturers
A preliminary survey was offered to the Commission payment en chèvre afterwards, including a slide presentation from the election devices surveyed and sample ballots/forms used in several jurisdictions in america. Integral for the team’s reports was the recommendation in the optical tag sense technology as the very best suited for Philippine elections and the short set of three (3) companies based on the outcomes of the evaluation during the inspection trip.
The next year, the COMELEC currently began plans in anticipation of the signing of the draft modernization bill in to law in Congress.
The first 1 / 4 of the year saw a great equipment demonstration from all the three (3) shortlisted businesses from the ALL OF US inspection trip, which contains: 1 . American Information Devices, Inc. (AIS) of Nebraska, USA installment payments on your Business Records Corporation (BRC) of Arizona, USA and
3. National Computer Systems, Incorporation. (NCSI) of Minnesota, UNITED STATES Media, representatives of the Nationwide Economic Expansion Authority (NEDA), Congress plus the Citizen’s Arms were asked to attend. In the course of the 6 months that used, a putting in a bid process intended for selection of provider for canvassing equipment. Prior to the end of the third 1 / 4, after a detailed study in the suppliers’ proposals, BRC was selected. Then Resident COA Auditor accredited the bidding procedures undertaken to select the seller as being according to Executive Buy 301.
Initially of the last quarter with the year, a primary meeting was held between COMELEC and BRC to draft a Memorandum of Arrangement for Modernization. Two legal agreements were decided to be agreed upon with BRC: one intended for the acquisition of eight (8) demo products, and one other for the purchase of 492 units of canvassing equipment. The Commission had set to pilot the new election system in the coming May 95 elections, which has been still controlled by Congressional acceptance.
However , up to the end from the year, not any contract was signed with BRC pending the passageway of a law allowing for conditions new election system. The COMELEC acquired two (2) demo products on mortgage from BRC which that used in executing public demos in Our elected representatives, the United states senate, nongovernmental agencies and other interested organizations. Even now awaiting the passage in law with the pilot modernization bill, the COMELEC define with its info campaign of slowly presenting the new political election system to the public. General public demonstrations were given to celebrations who invited the COMELEC demonstration crew for sales pitches, lead at that time MIS Director-in-Charge, Alwin Sta. Rosa. These demonstrations included those offered before NGOs at the Galleria Suites at the Ortigas Centre in Quezon City in February and before registrants of De La Assemblée University, Manila in Mar. The new political election system was also placed in display in one of the booths with the March 15-16 Database Expo ’95 Display that occured at the Lodge Nikko in Makati. The COMELEC exhibition team applied the two BRC demo models in these sales pitches.
Finally in-may, Republic Work (RA) 8046 entitled “An Act Authorizing the Percentage on Polls to Conduct a Nationwide Demonstration of the Computerized Election System and Pilot-Test This in the March 1996 Elections in the autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) and for Other Purposes was handed into rules. COMELEC has solid legal basis because of its efforts.
After the passage of RA 8046 and with the enhancements made on COMELEC administration, COMELEC had to present the current modernization plan to the newly-appointed Chairman Bernardo Pardo and Commissioner Teresita Flores. Aside from protocol, this was a necessary stage since in case the current modernization program was ever gonna push although as designed, it would depend very remarkably on the support of the current top administration and the way it would be generated by the same.
Public information initiatives even triggered the presentation of the new election system to Malacanang Palace in June, inside the presence of then Pres. Fidel Ramos and his Case for budget discussions pertaining to the mil novecentos e noventa e seis ARMM election. The new program was also demonstrated, some days following your Malacanang display, in an HURUF 5 television set program named “Public Forum which was hosted by UP Professor Randy David.
Because previously mentioned, together with the change in COMELEC top supervision, COMELEC had to repeat it is pre-qualification and bidding types of procedures for the selection of an optic mark feeling (OMR) equipment beginning the final week of June mainly because it promulgated Res. No . 95-2636, approving the pre-qualification standards for the selection of an OMR machine which in turn, among others, specified the type of tools required simply by COMELEC, that is: 1 . OMR, Mark Feeling, Scanning or similar technology
2 . handed government evaluation for election purposes
The same 3 (3) firms that realized in the previous year’s selection had been shortlisted for this year’s assortment.
In Oct, Minute Vaca. No . 95-3542 clarified COMELEC’s biding need as to the volume of machines required in the ARMM election: “Per package of software/equipment ought to cover a maximum of two municipalities. One package should consist of at least one equipment which can end the counting/canvassing in all cities within twenty four hours; all pays and/or district 48 several hours; and a regional loan consolidation within seventy two hours¦. The general public bidding was conducted instantly afterwards, after demonstrations and testing of the machines from the shortlisted suppliers, which included a voting test out conducted on selected COMELEC personnel to determine the acceptability and ease of use in the suppliers’ test ballots, COMELEC accepted the offer of VOLIGE by Nov in Min. Res. No . 95-3785.