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Automated Election

Automated Election

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Published by atty_ajclamban

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Published by: atty_ajclamban on Feb 17, 2010
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Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Is The Philippines Ready for an Automated Election System?
Is the Philippines ready for automated election? Are we ready for something new?What is Automated Election System (AES)?Is it Feasible? How reliable can the computerized (automated) election system be?-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------First, let us discuss the advantages and disadvantages that will emerge if our country engages with anautomated election.AdvantagesIt provides efficient way for voting with less hassle.Voters cannot prolong the process of voting and lined up in a crowd.You get a tally immediately, rather than having to count votes by hand.Increased speed and efficiency of electoral task and faster electoral resultsDisadvantagesFinancial SavingsPossibilities for the candidates can hire a computer experts to hack the system and manipulate the entirevotes.Unless if the system is fully secured.Since it is computer based, there is no paper trail and no way to double check the tally.
What is Automated Election Sytem(AES)?
Computerized voting is a superior form of casting ballots. It allows for fairer and faster voting. Ittakes many forms with different processes but how it is implemented depends on the technologicalfacilities allocated for the elections procedure. Automated election system (AES) is a system thatuses appropriate technology to accomplish and aid such tasks as voting, counting, consolidating,canvassing, and transmission of election result, and other electoral process. Republic Act No. 9369,which is the Amended Elections Automation Law provides for the use of two forms of AES.
The voters have to shade the oval which corresponds to their candidate of choice using pencil in aspecially scanned paper ballot. It is composed of 2 Laptops, 2 Digital Scanners, 2 card readers, 1hub and 1 printer. The votes in the shaded ballots will then be scanned and counted using anAutomated Counting Machine (ACM).
The first is a paper-based election system defined as “a type of automated election system that uses paper ballots, records and counts votes, tabulates, consolidates, canvasses and transmitselectronically the results of the vote count.” It uses the Optical Mark Reader (OMR) Technology.
The second form is the Direct Recording Electronic (DRE). It is defined as “a type of automatedelection system that uses electronic ballots, records votes by means of a ballot display provided withmechanical or electro-optical components that can be activated by the voter, processes data bymeans of a computer program, records voting data and ballot images, and transmits voting resultselectronically.” voters are provided with a Voting Pad where the photos of candidates can beselected by pressing on the desired picture. Once the vote is final, a receipt is generated after  pressing ‘BOTO‘. The Board of Election Inspectors keeps the receipt just in case there arecomplaints raised.http://iskwiki.upd.edu.ph/index.php/Online/Automated_Elections_in_the_Philippines
Providers of the Technology
Computerized elections would not be possible without Republic Act No. 9369 and the lawmakers behind it. But, ultimately, this new system of voting cannot be implemented without the technology
need to run the whole system. As far as the government is concerned, making such provisions is theextent of their ability to provide computerized elections. A third party is needed to fully implementthe Act by providing the government and the Philippines with the technology needed to run theelections. Here is where the technology providers come in. Different firms have showed interest in providing the machinery and computers for the Philippines’ automated elections. 11 of which areforeign companies, though only one of them will be chosen and be given the contract through aseries of bidding. These are US firms Sequioa, Avante, ES/S, Hart and Scantron; Venezuela’sSmartmatic; United Kingdom’s DRS; India’s Bharat; South Korea’s DVS Korea; Gilat Solution of Israel and Spain’s Indra System. Whoever gets the contract will be renting out about 80,000machines that will be used for the 2010 elections. Two of these providers have already serviced theelections here in the Philippines, specifically the
ARMM elections.
Is it Feasible?
It is feasible. An automated election, for a fact, cannot fully prevent cheating but only certain formsof it could be prevented through check and balance. It is also a fact that there is no system that istamper proof. The following are plausible forms of check and balance: paper audit trail of ballots, protection of software source code, no switching of ballot boxes, the testing of the technologies, andthe addition of some amendments on the Senate Bill No. 2231. The Automated Election Bill in thePhilippines requires that there should be a voter verifiable paper audit trail. This feature of the billwill reduce the incidents of vote buying and increase the security and credibility of the people’svotes. The voter verifiable audit trail enables the voters to review and edit their votes. On the samenote the right amount of protection on the automated elections' software source code would preventhackers on hacking on to the computers for counting and thus prevents the tampering on the number of votes. On the old system, manual transmissions of ballot boxes allow the possibility of ballotswitching but with the new system, it would be prevented. Another way to check if it is feasible tohave an automated election without cheating to be prevalent is to test the technology itself. Thetechnology should be checked if it is efficient and if it works the way it should be to further eliminate certain problems with it. By testing the technology, COMELEC will know beforehand if the system can be tampered as well as its errors. The Senate approved Senate Bill No. 2231, theAmendment to the Election Automation Law states additional security for the random auditing of the system and system for recount. Other kinds of check and balance are instead of writing thename, voters marks the candidate of their choice, the voter should physically feed the ballot into the

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