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Fixing the Fix by Zandro Rapadas, M.D.C.

Fixing the Fix by Zandro Rapadas, M.D.C.

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Published by thecenseireport
Full Article from the latest TCR issue now available! To access the links from the article and to get more stories every week, all you need is to to subscribe.

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Please fill out the subscription form( http://www.scribd.com/doc/93610943/TCR-Subscription-Form) and send to report@censeisolutions.com

You may also visit us at our social media sites:
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Published by: thecenseireport on Jul 24, 2012
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CONTENTS BUSINESS NATION WORLD TECHNOLOGY HEALTH/LIFESTYLE
Fixing the Fix
A credible Random Manual Audit process is crucialfor an automated election system to deliver credibleresults in the May 2013 elections
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STRATEGY POINTS
The May 2010 automated national and local elections were regardedas a landmark achievement in the country’s history, but whilethe results were generally accepted, serious doubts have arisenregarding the accuracy of the automated election system
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or the Random Manual Audit, to check accurately the results ofautomated countingThe direct participation of the Commission on Elections and itscitizens’ arm in the audit process, combined with the exclusionof other observers, has cast doubt on the integrity of the entireautomated counting process
 
 
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or an utomated election yem to deliver cre
 
results in e 
 
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NATION
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 It is the policy of the State to ensure free, orderly, honest, peaceful, credible,and informed elections, plebiscites, referenda, recall, and other similarelectoral exercises by improving on the election process and adoptingsystems, which shall involve the use of automated election system that will ensure the secrecy and sanctity of the ballot and all election, consolidation,and transmission documents in order that the process shall be transparent 
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genuine will of the people.
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entitled “An Act Authorizing the Commission on Elections to use an AutomatedElection System”
T
he 2010 automated national andlocal elections in the Philippines werecollectively lauded as a landmark achievementin the nation’s history of democracy andsuffrage, but continue to be hounded withunresolved issues and serious doubts on theiraccuracy and credibility.From technology and security concernsinvolving the hardware, software, and process of the automated election system (AES) provided
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and preparation time for the Commission onElections (Comelec) and its partner institutions,the issues raised by various local electionstakeholders, international observers, and ITexperts left more to be desired from what wastouted as the cure to our manual election woes.The general acceptability of the resultsnotwithstanding, the 2010 automated electionshave turned out to fall short of expectations.
Checking automated election results.
 
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errors or data corruption in personal computers
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 by law to check on the accuracy and reliability of automated election results: the randommanual audit (RMA).
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provides for a
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Where the AES is used, there shall bea random manual audit in one precinct  per congressional district 
[emphasisours]
randomly chosen by theCommission in each province and city. Any difference between the automated and manual count will result in thedetermination of root cause and initiate a manual count for those precincts affected by the computeror procedural error.
Kathy Dopp, in her 2010 dissertation at theRockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy,
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election Audit Sampling Methods
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of reported election results done by manually 
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associated with randomly sampled reportedinitial vote counts, and checking such additionalrecords as necessary to ensure the integrity of the electoral process.”Moreover, in itsFinal Report, the Carter CenterLimited Mission to the May 2010 Elections inthe Philippines noted that “in an automatedsystem such as the Smartmatic AES, the burdenof building public trust in the results rests
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CONTENTS BUSINESS NATION WORLD TECHNOLOGY HEALTH/LIFESTYLE
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audits must be both comprehensive and
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the machines performed as intended and were not subject to any manipulation orprograming error.”
Too much, too late.
On April 30, 2010, just 10 days before the elections, the Comelecpromulgated the “General Instructions for theConduct of a Random Manual Audit (RMA) forthe May 10, 2010 National and Local Elections.”Comelec Advisory Council member Henriettade Villa, who heads the Parish Pastoral Councilfor Responsible Voting (PPCRV), which was theComelec’s accredited citizens’ arm in 2010, wasalso the chair of the Technical Working Group
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 with a representative from Comelec’s Internal
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(NSO) as members. The NSO slot was originally for the Commission on Audit (COA), but thelatter withdrew in March 2010, citing possible
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The general instructions for RMA alsoincreased the number of clustered pollingprecincts to be audited – from 1 per legislative
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the elective positions to be audited included
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the national level, and Governor, Congressman,and Mayor on the local level.The Provincial Election Supervisors (PES)implemented the RMA in the legislativedistricts, including designating members of theaudit team. The auditors were members of theBoard of Election Inspectors (BEI) from theclustered polling precinct that was immediately after the randomly selected precinct or beforeit, should the latter be the last precinct in the voting center, or from the next barangay shouldthe randomly selected precinct be the loneprecinct in the voting center.
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set of BEI to do the manual audit in therandomly selected precincts ensures a blindaudit, given that “it precludes the possibility of any attempt to ‘reconcile’ the manualcount with the AES count,” as noted in theirterminal report submitted to the Comelec onJuly 20, 2010, a copy of which was obtained by 
The CenSEI Report 
.
Prolonged selection process leads todelays, errors, confusion.
The selection of 
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tambiolo
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one ball assigned to a clustered pollingprecinct per legislative district, as witnessed by representatives of various electionstakeholders. The draw was done from10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. on May 10 at thePhilippine International Convention Centerin Pasay City (where Comelec set up itsnational canvassing). However, theprolonged process delayed the transmissionof the selection results and instructions tothe audit teams, and there was confusion
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reports fromDavao City andQuezon City , the former being the largest city in thecountry geographically, and the latter interms of voting population.
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