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 an automated election. Advantages It 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 results
Disadvantages Financial Savings Possibilities for the candidates can hire a computer experts to hack the system and manipulate the entire votes.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. It takes many forms with different processes but how it is implemented depends on the technological facilities allocated for the elections procedure. Automated election system (AES) is a system that uses 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 a specially scanned paper ballot. It is composed of 2 Laptops, 2 Digital Scanners, 2 card readers, 1 hub and 1 printer. The votes in the shaded ballots will then be scanned and counted using an Automated 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 transmits electronically 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 automated election system that uses electronic ballots, records votes by means of a ballot display provided with mechanical or electro-optical components that can be activated by the voter, processes data by means of a computer program, records voting data and ballot images, and transmits voting results electronically.” voters are provided with a Voting Pad where the photos of candidates can be selected 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 are complaints 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 the extent of their ability to provide computerized elections. A third party is needed to fully implement the Act by providing the government and the Philippines with the technology needed to run the elections. 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 are foreign companies, though only one of them will be chosen and be given the contract through a series of bidding. These are US firms Sequioa, Avante, ES/S, Hart and Scantron; Venezuela’s Smartmatic; 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 80,000 machines that will be used for the 2010 elections. Two of these providers have already serviced the elections here in the Philippines, specifically the ARMM elections.
http://iskwiki.upd.edu.ph/index.php/Online/Automated_Elections_in_the_Philippines Is it Feasible?
It is feasible. An automated election, for a fact, cannot fully prevent cheating but only certain forms of it could be prevented through check and balance. It is also a fact that there is no system that is tamper 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, and the addition of some amendments on the Senate Bill No. 2231. The Automated Election Bill in the Philippines requires that there should be a voter verifiable paper audit trail. This feature of the bill will reduce the incidents of vote buying and increase the security and credibility of the people’s votes. The voter verifiable audit trail enables the voters to review and edit their votes. On the same note the right amount of protection on the automated elections' software source code would prevent hackers 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 ballot switching but with the new system, it would be prevented. Another way to check if it is feasible to have an automated election without cheating to be prevalent is to test the technology itself. The technology 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, the Amendment 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 the name, voters marks the candidate of their choice, the voter should physically feed the ballot into the
machine where the ballot has its picture taken, the election returns are proposed to be automatically transmitted, the OMR machines should not be equip with any kind of communication devices, there should be seven copies of the ER to be sent to different computers, COMELEC would provide PC’s for the different parties so that they can follow the tabulation, and the statement of vote would be projected in each canvassing center so that the watchers can compare the totals.
According Ustadz Esmael Ibrahim of the Assembly of Darul Ifta of the Philippines said illiteracy in the ARMM is worst in Sulu, with 40 percent of its people unlearned.
On a national level, one in 10 Filipinos can not read and write, according to the survey.
The 2003 functional literacy survey of the National Statistics Office (NSO) showed ARMM as having the lowest basic literacy rate in the country, with 30 percent of its people aged 10-64 years old considered illiterate.
As an IT student,we are aware of the possible situations that will happen. Of course, I rather choose the new system becuase of its big advantage. But there are still many questions that bugs me and we will find out after the election. As what I've read in the article "Let the “trial-and-error” in our election process begin"