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 Assignment 3 (Due: July 09, 2009, before 01:00pm)

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Gleizelle Jen Dieparine



Posts : 54
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Join date : 2009-06-22
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Location : Davao City

PostSubject: Views and Opinion about Automated Election   Sun Jul 05, 2009 10:04 pm


Razz Views and Opinion about Automated Election:P



Idea Republic Act No. 9369 () January 23, 2007

AN ACT AMENDING REPUBLIC ACT NO. 8436, ENTITLED "AN ACT AUTHORIZING THE COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS TO USE AN AUTOMATED ELECTION SYSTEM IN THE MAY 11, 1998 NATIONAL OR LOCAL ELECTIONS AND IN SUBSEQUENT NATIONAL AND LOCAL ELECTORAL EXERCISES, TO ENCOURAGE TRANSPARENCY, CREDIBILITY, FAIRNESS AND ACCURACY OF ELECTIONS, AMENDING FOR THE PURPOSE BATAS PAMPANSA BLG. 881, AS AMEMDED, REPUBLIC ACT NO. 7166 AND OTHER RELATED ELECTIONS LAWS, PROVIDING FUNDS THEREFOR AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES


http://www.lawphil.net/statutes/repacts/ra2007/ra_9369_2007.html


Idea Smartmatic Auditable Election System

The powerful combination of robust hardware, secure software and highly qualified personnel enables the SAES system to guarantee elections that voters can trust, in any part of the world. From its voting machines that feature a variety of vote input devices, customizable interfaces and printed voter receipts, to its secure data transmission networks, high-end tallying servers, immediate results tabulation and fully auditable paper trail, the SAES technological platform is the only end-to–end system available that ensures democracy rules, cost effectively.
bounce Security
The impenetrable architecture of SAES is the result of a number of security mechanisms that we created by combining internationally recognized and standard-based security algorithms. You won’t have to worry about election tampering.
bounce Immediacy
Not only do SAES voting machines allow voters to cast their choice more quickly, they allow the results to be known just minutes after the last polling place has closed.
bounce Veracity
Smartmatic was the first company in the world to include printed receipts so every voter can verify that their on screen selections were recorded accurately. This not only establishes an auditable paper trail, but invites public trust and establishes the credibility of the election.
bounce Economy
The digital voting process reduces the cost of holding an election because it requires greatly reduced human and economic resources. In addition, a thousand tons of paper can be saved because the need to print anything is eliminated almost entirely!
bounce Auditing
A prerequisite of Smartmatic’s engagement is that a series of audits are undertaken before, during and after the election. SAES has been designed to make this a simple procedure, creating what we believe is the most transparent automated-voting process available in the world.
bounce Flexibility
Your electorate has its own laws and conventions for tallying votes. That’s why SAES has been designed to make configuration for different tallying methods easy. Whether you use D’Hondt, simple majority, relative majority or other counting methods, you won’t incur costly reprogramming fees.
bounce Accessibility
Voters with disabilities can be accommodated comfortably by SAES voting machines. Buttons with specific shapes and colors, sip-and-puff devices and special earphones are just some of the features our machines possess in order to guarantee equality and independence for all voters.
:bounce:Versatility
Smartmatic recognizes the value of innovations that contribute to security so we engineered SAES in a way that lets it integrate readily with civil registration and voter identification systems. SAES makes it easier to build on the security platform you already have in place.
bounce Autonomy
In those cases where an electoral agency requires operational control, Smartmatic provides licensing solutions. Structured as a turnkey agreement with ongoing support, the technology transfer can be achieved in the mid- to long- term, after training has been completed.

http://www.smartmatic.com/solutions/automated-election-system/single-view/article/the-new-standard-of-modern-democracy/

Idea Total Information Management (TIM)


A Corporation is a wholly Filipino owned Information Technology (IT) company with nationwide operations offering varied products and services. It considers itself as "The Filipino IT Company" competing in a field dominated by multinationals.
Our proven track record has enabled us to bring the benefits of our highly skilled and experienced pool of technical resources to the global I.T. services industry, particularly in the more complex areas of Remote Data Center, and Network Management. We have invested in developing two of the largest fully equipped Data Centers in redundant configurations to ensure fault tolerant 24/7 support operations for our Outsourcing and Business Continuity Services.
TIM faces the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead with better skilled personnel, stronger alliances, and sound financials. It is prepared and ready to achieve its vision of becoming the most admired and responsive Information Technology Company in Asia.
How do we accomplish this? TIM wields the strengths of:
• Expert technical skills that can only be achieved through continuous innovation;
• Extensive experience spanning 20 years of unparalleled service in the IT industry;
• Uncompromising promptness in product and service delivery.
http://www.timcorp.net/main/index.php?pg=about.tim

Idea My Opinon:

Election is a critical stage on the country since it involves judging the one who will lead the people and the country as well . Since our country prepare the election process on 2010 the COMELEC discuss about adopting automated election voting process .It was debated for the pass years and know the Smartmatic and its Pilipino partnership ,the TIM(Total Information Management ) had won the bidding for complying the automated election of our country.
An automated machine is a machine that does a certain task automatically. For purposes of the election, the COMELEC will be using what is called an automated counting machine (ACM), a machine that is designed to automatically count votes using paper ballots.It involves voter list ,establishment of voters identification card system and the automation of the vote counting They are many features of automation to the concise and optimistic voting process such as “dagdag bawas”. It will no longer possible . But then some sectoral groups identified as basic problems afflicting the electoral process.

Being an IT student my vision towards these kind of election is that Automated election should be implemented and the one who made the program should be reliable enough they should plan well what software be in use to make the election success.
Having this kind of election is new to everyone but it could help them to be educated to whom they vote as wellas to be educated to the technology used since we are on the high technology we should join the flow and infact having these kind of election may lessen the vote buying and anything that is deceiving.
As I read some article about automated election I found that TIM and Smartmatic had disagreement and many speculation on why this happen.These involves that TIM had ”loss of trust” ”irreconcilable differences ” on Smartmatic . The Commission on Elections (COMELEC) are now on the mindset of going back to manual counting if Smartmatic and TIM will not resolve their conflict. They has given the two corporations until Friday July 3,2009 to decide whether or not they could push through with the automation contract for the 2010 elections. If they didn’t resolve the election would probably a manual election . Finally, last Friday they resolve their conflict and continued the job they should comply to make the election success.
In our seminar on COMDDAP last Thursday July 2,2009 .We tackled about automated election and it really fascinating that IT people are the who concerns about the credibility of the automated election .They shared about to what software should be use whether if it is opensource or the other one ,that considered the short time given the security of the people and family in making these program .Could the politician can destroy their credibility. I hope that the one who handled the ability of the success automated election will pursue .


visit my blog............. flower
http://gleizelle.blogspot.com/









































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carla comoda



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PostSubject: ==Learnings about Automated Election==   Mon Jul 06, 2009 1:52 am

Its my own perception regarding the automated election:
The advance technology has given a lot of influences that leads to many advantage, uses and convenient communication of human consumption but aside from it's positive inclination, technology is also a name of many conviction in crime but this kind of thing cannot be banish because of it's significant features uses. The article that i read is all about automation of election this year 2010 is an essential idea to pursue because of it's accuracy in counting and canvassing of the votes in every individual. "Every vote counts” as what they said but this can be discarded by the person who is a great opportunist who uses their power and position to manipulate votes that leads to its inaccurate counting, this problems we encounter is naturally occurring during election because of officials who is craving for their as aspired position that is why the automation for election is a good way for this coming election to manipulate the votes through technological usage particularly of SMARTMATIC and TIM of technical expertise on conducting electronic election for the sake of our nations prosperity by having a good leader to lead our nation the said automation for clean election shall use a new machine to prevent incorrect counting of votes, this agreements of both parties can be a great deal to have an effective , clean and unvias votation. Their combining technologies call be a source of information in all
aspects, its dual so we can expect service by their ability which they are capable of doing.Below of this will discuss the automated election which is the
Republic act no. 8436.
AN ACT AUTHORIZING THE COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS TO USE AN AUTOMATED ELECTION SYSTEM IN THE MAY 11, 1998 NATIONAL OR LOCAL ELECTIONS AND IN SUBSEQUENT NATIONAL AND LOCAL ELECTORAL EXERCISES, PROVIDING FUNDS THEREFOR AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES.


Section 1. Declaration of policy. — It is the policy of the State to ensure free, orderly, honest, peaceful and credible elections, and assure the secrecy and sanctity of the ballot in order that the results of elections, plebiscites, referenda, and other electoral exercises shall be fast, accurate and reflective of the genuine will of the people.

Sec. 2. Definition of terms. — As used in this Act, the following terms shall mean:

1. Automated election system — a system using appropriate technology for voting and electronic devices to count votes and canvass/consolidate results;

2. Counting machine — a machine that uses an optical scanning/mark—sense reading device or any similar advanced technology to count ballots;

3. Data storage device — a device used to electronically store counting and canvassing results, such as a memory pack or diskette;

4. Computer set — a set of equipment containing regular components, i.e., monitor, central processing unit or CPU, keyboard and printer;

5. National ballot — refers to the ballot to be used in the automated election system for the purpose of the May 11, 1998 elections. This shall contain the names of the candidates for president, vice-president, senators and parties, organizations or coalitions participating under the party-list system. This ballot shall be counted by the counting machine;

6. Local Ballot — refers to the ballot on which the voter will manually write the names of the candidates of his/her choice for member of the House of Representatives, governor, vice-governor, members of the provincial board, mayor, vice-mayor, and members of the city/municipal council. For the purpose of the May 11, 1998 elections, this ballot will be counted manually;

7. Board of Election Inspectors — there shall be a Board of Election Inspectors in every precinct composed of three (3) regular members who shall conduct the voting, counting and recording of votes in the polling place.

For the purpose of the May 11, 1998 elections, there shall be special members composed of a fourth member in each precinct and a COMELEC representative who is authorized to operate the counting machine. Both shall conduct the counting and recording of votes of the national ballots in the designated counting centers;

8. Election returns — a machine-generated document showing the date of the election, the province, municipality and the precinct in which it is held and the votes in figures for each candidate in a precinct directly produced by the counting machine;

9. Statement of votes — a machine-generated document containing the votes obtained by candidates in each precinct in a city/municipality;

10. City/municipal/district/provincial certificate of canvass of votes — a machine-generated document containing the total votes in figures obtained by each candidate in a city/municipality/district/ province as the case may be; and

11. Counting center — a public place designated by the Commission where counting of votes and canvassing/consolidation of results shall be conducted.


*Smartmatic Auditable Election System*
If your electoral agency seeks a fully-automated, electronic voting system that is completely secure, reliable and auditable, the Smartmatic Auditable Election System (SAES) is your solution. Proven under the rigorous scrutiny of independent international monitors in several national and regional elections, SAES has distinguished itself as the system beyond reproach.

The powerful combination of robust hardware, secure software and highly qualified personnel enables the SAES system to guarantee elections that voters can trust, in any part of the world. From its voting machines that feature a variety of vote input devices, customizable interfaces and printed voter receipts, to its secure data transmission networks, high-end tallying servers, immediate results tabulation and fully auditable paper trail, the SAES technological platform is the only end-to–end system available that ensures democracy rules, cost effectively.

Security

The impenetrable architecture of SAES is the result of a number of security mechanisms that we created by combining internationally recognized and standard-based security algorithms. You won’t have to worry about election tampering.


Immediacy

Not only do SAES voting machines allow voters to cast their choice more quickly, they allow the results to be known just minutes after the last polling place has closed.


Veracity

Smartmatic was the first company in the world to include printed receipts so every voter can verify that their on screen selections were recorded accurately. This not only establishes an auditable paper trail, but invites public trust and establishes the credibility of the election.


Economy

The digital voting process reduces the cost of holding an election because it requires greatly reduced human and economic resources. In addition, a thousand tons of paper can be saved because the need to print anything is eliminated almost entirely!


Auditing

A prerequisite of Smartmatic’s engagement is that a series of audits are undertaken before, during and after the election. SAES has been designed to make this a simple procedure, creating what we believe is the most transparent automated-voting process available in the world.


Flexibility

Your electorate has its own laws and conventions for tallying votes. That’s why SAES has been designed to make configuration for different tallying methods easy. Whether you use D’Hondt, simple majority, relative majority or other counting methods, you won’t incur costly reprogramming fees.


Accessibility

Voters with disabilities can be accommodated comfortably by SAES voting machines. Buttons with specific shapes and colors, sip-and-puff devices and special earphones are just some of the features our machines possess in order to guarantee equality and independence for all voters.


Versatility

Smartmatic recognizes the value of innovations that contribute to security so we engineered SAES in a way that lets it integrate readily with civil registration and voter identification systems. SAES makes it easier to build on the security platform you already have in place.

Autonomy

In those cases where an electoral agency requires operational control, Smartmatic provides licensing solutions. Structured as a turnkey agreement with ongoing support, the technology transfer can be achieved in the mid- to long- term, after training has been completed.

Reference:
http://www.smartmatic.com/solutions/automated-election-system/single-view/article/the-new-standard-of-modern-democracy/
http://www.chanrobles.com/republicactno8436.htm#REPUBLIC%20ACT%20NO.%208436


Last edited by april kaye bigonte on Mon Jul 06, 2009 2:24 am; edited 1 time in total
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Jovanne Nick Cacayan



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PostSubject: VIEWS AND OPINIONS IN 2010 AUTOMATED ELECTION   Mon Jul 06, 2009 2:08 am

As a citizen of this country I have the right to express my thoughts and views regarding the issues in the upcoming 2010 automated election. This current events confuse me a lot when this issue worsen. I guess, we must have to know the how did this issue begun. First, what are those laws amending/authorizing this 2010 automated election. Second, who are the people involved in implementing this agreement. Third, the conflict between parties and lastly, what are the doubts, opinions, concerns and point of views of the people.

AUTOMATED ELECTION


SITUATIONER
The conduct of elections in the Philippines for the past four decades has remained largely
unchanged. Philippine elections rely heavily on manual tallying and canvassing of votes thus making
them vulnerable to control and manipulation by traditional politicians and those with vested interests.
The cost of winning an elective post is highly expensive, and the absence of mechanisms to check
and limit sources of campaign funds become fertile grounds for corruption and divisiveness.
In recent years, initiatives to reform the electoral system included the enactment of the
following laws: Republic Act (RA) 8046, establishing a pilot program modernizing the registration
and vote counting process in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, the Party List Law,
Fair Elections Act and the Absentee Voting Act. To address the inadequacies and limitations of the
electoral process, RA 8436 or the Election Automation Act of 1997, was passed authorizing the
Commission on Elections (COMELEC) to use automated election system for vote counting and
canvassing in the national and local polls. The law provided for the generation of a national
computerized voters list, establishment of a voters identification card system and the automation of
the vote counting.
However, sectoral issues still hinder reform efforts in the electoral process. The following
have been identified as basic problems afflicting the electoral system: (a) outdated electoral
process; (b) failure to implement the electoral modernization law; (c) limited administrative and
regulatory capabilities of the COMELEC; (d) ineffective educational/information campaigns on
new laws and policies; (e) weak political party system; (f) unaccountable political financing; and
(g) defective party list system (Governance Assessment, 2003).

GOALS, STRATEGIES AND ACTION PLANS
To ensure a credible and transparent electoral process, the modernization of the electoral
system through computerization shall be supported to ensure the credibility of polls and correct the
deficiencies in the electoral system. Likewise, the Omnibus Election Code shall be further revised
and amended to respond to the needs of the present electoral system.
Measures to strengthen the party system and regulate the activities of political parties shall
be created. State financing of political parties shall also be considered through the passage of the
Campaign Finance Bill.

The COMELEC’s capacity to raise the level of political discourse and educate citizens
regarding their right to vote will be enhanced. This will be done through conduct of continuing
citizen and voter education through partnership with civil society groups and other government
institutions. The electorate must be empowered with information that would help them vote
intelligently. The challenge is to develop the people’s appreciation of their vote as a means to
reform the government and receive better services from it. Part of this challenge is the need to
raise the awareness of the electorate on relevant issues and the corresponding platforms of the
candidates, if the country is to shift from the politics of personality to the politics of party
programs.


http://www.neda.gov.ph/ads/mtpdp/mtpdp2004-2010/pdf/mtpdp 2004-2010 neda_chapterx13_elections.pdf




The government have there good intentions in planning for the automated election but how these plan of the government becomes today's top issue. who are these people involved in this story?




Smartmatic Auditable Election System (SAES)
If your electoral agency seeks a fully-automated, electronic voting system that is completely secure, reliable and auditable, the Smartmatic Auditable Election System (SAES) is your solution. Proven under the rigorous scrutiny of independent international monitors in several national and regional elections, SAES has distinguished itself as the system beyond reproach.

The powerful combination of robust hardware, secure software and highly qualified personnel enables the SAES system to guarantee elections that voters can trust, in any part of the world. From its voting machines that feature a variety of vote input devices, customizable interfaces and printed voter receipts, to its secure data transmission networks, high-end tallying servers, immediate results tabulation and fully auditable paper trail, the SAES technological platform is the only end-to–end system available that ensures democracy rules, cost effectively.

Security

The impenetrable architecture of SAES is the result of a number of security mechanisms that we created by combining internationally recognized and standard-based security algorithms. You won’t have to worry about election tampering.


Immediacy

Not only do SAES voting machines allow voters to cast their choice more quickly, they allow the results to be known just minutes after the last polling place has closed.


Veracity

Smartmatic was the first company in the world to include printed receipts so every voter can verify that their on screen selections were recorded accurately. This not only establishes an auditable paper trail, but invites public trust and establishes the credibility of the election.


Economy

The digital voting process reduces the cost of holding an election because it requires greatly reduced human and economic resources. In addition, a thousand tons of paper can be saved because the need to print anything is eliminated almost entirely!


Auditing

A prerequisite of Smartmatic’s engagement is that a series of audits are undertaken before, during and after the election. SAES has been designed to make this a simple procedure, creating what we believe is the most transparent automated-voting process available in the world.


Flexibility

Your electorate has its own laws and conventions for tallying votes. That’s why SAES has been designed to make configuration for different tallying methods easy. Whether you use D’Hondt, simple majority, relative majority or other counting methods, you won’t incur costly reprogramming fees.


Accessibility

Voters with disabilities can be accommodated comfortably by SAES voting machines. Buttons with specific shapes and colors, sip-and-puff devices and special earphones are just some of the features our machines possess in order to guarantee equality and independence for all voters.


Versatility

Smartmatic recognizes the value of innovations that contribute to security so we engineered SAES in a way that lets it integrate readily with civil registration and voter identification systems. SAES makes it easier to build on the security platform you already have in place.

Autonomy

In those cases where an electoral agency requires operational control, Smartmatic provides licensing solutions. Structured as a turnkey agreement with ongoing support, the technology transfer can be achieved in the mid- to long- term, after training has been completed.

http://www.smartmatic.com/solutions/automated-election-system/single-view/article/the-new-standard-of-modern-democracy/


Total Information Management (TIM)

Total Information Management (TIM) Corporation is a wholly Filipino owned Information Technology (IT) company with nationwide operations offering varied products and services. It considers itself as "The Filipino IT Company" competing in a field dominated by multinationals.

How do we accomplish this? TIM wields the strengths of:

* Expert technical skills that can only be achieved through continuous innovation;
* Extensive experience spanning 20 years of unparalleled service in the IT industry;
* Uncompromising promptness in product and service delivery.

http://www.timcorp.net/main/index.php?pg=about.tim

COMELEC

The Commission on Elections, also known as COMELEC, is one of the three constitutional commissions of the Philippines. It is the premier guardian of the ballot. Its principal role is to enforce all laws and regulations relative to the conduct of elections, initiatives, referendums, and recalls.

Functions of the Commission

Under the Constitution, the Commission on Elections is independent of the Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches of the Philippine Government, for which purpose it has been vested the following functions:

Judicial functions

* to exercise exclusive jurisdictions over all contests relating to the elections, returns, and

qualifications of all elective regional, provincial and city officials and appellate jurisdiction over all contests involving all municipal officials decided by trial courts of general jurisdiction;

* to decide, except those involving the right to vote, all questions affecting elections, including determination of the number and location of polling places, appointment of election officials and inspectors, and registration of voters;
* to file petitions in court for inclusion or exclusion of voters; and
* to investigate and, where appropriate, prosecute cases of violations of election laws, including acts or omissions constituting election fraud, offenses and malpractices.

Ministerial functions

* To enforce and administer all laws and regulations relative to the conduct of and elections, plebiscites, initiatives, referendum, and recalls.
* to deputize, with the concurrence of the President of the Philippines, law enforcement agencies and instrumentalities of the Government, including the Armed Forces of the Philippines, for the exclusive purpose of ensuring free, orderly, honest, peaceful credible elections;
* to register political parties, organizations or coalitions and accredit citizens' arms of the Commission.

Reportorial function

* To submit to the President and the Congress a comprehensive report on the conduct of each election, plebiscite, initiative, referendum, or recall.

Recommendatory functions

* To recommend to Congress the enactment of effective measures to minimize election spending including limitation of places where propaganda materials shall be posted, and to prevent and penalize all forms of election frauds, offenses, malpractices, and nuisance candidates; and
* to recommend to the President the removal of any officer of employee it has deputized, or the imposition of any other disciplinary action, for violation or disregard of, or disobedience to its directive, order, or decision.

Other functions

* To perform other functions as may be provided by law, including fiscal autonomy

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commission_on_Elections_(Philippines)

Conflict between parties

2010 Philippine Automated Election in jeopardy

MANILA, Philippines - The Commission on Elections (COMELEC) are now on the mindset of going back to manual counting if Smartmatic and TIM will not resolve their conflict. The COMELEC has given the two corporations until Friday to decide whether or not they could push through with the automation contract for the 2010 elections.

If the two companies cannot push through with the automation contract, COMELEC chairman Jose Melo admitted that next year’s elections might be done manually because the commission no longer has the time to convene a second bidding for a new supplier of machines.

Makati Rep. Teodoro Locsin Jr., chairman of the House electoral reform committee, told reporters that TIM president Antuñez wanted 500 million php “up front” from its foreign partner. “If you give me a half a billion pesos, all of these problems will be solved.” - This was what the president of Total Information Management Corp. had demanded in a tease manner, but Smartmatic took seriously.“Of course, they took this as a joke but lawyers do not laugh about such things. They took it as a deal breaker. The lawyers thought this was tantamount to extortion,” Locsin said.Locsin said that by making “impossible demands,” Antunez was laying the groundwork for its defense against a lawsuit to be filed by Smartmatic in Singapore. “P500 million is really big because Smartmatic’s bid is already the lowest. You are not supposed to do that, it’s illegal. You cannot just give P500 million profit to somebody. Why will you do that?” Locsin said.

Other option the Commission on Elections is looking will be the joint partnership between Smartmatic and COMELEC, but worst case will be a full manual counting for the May 2010 election as chairman Melo sighted the automation will be “very slim” as” happy days will be here again” for those who will plan to cheat for next year election.

http://www.nowpublic.com/world/2010-philippine-automated-election-jeopardy

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Jovanne Nick Cacayan



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PostSubject: VIEWS AND OPINIONS IN 2010 AUTOMATED ELECTION(CONTINUATION)   Mon Jul 06, 2009 4:54 am

Concerns of the people:

Is The Philippines Ready for an Automated Election System?

The computerized or automated election in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) scheduled on August 11, 2008 is being threatened by the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). On the other hand, this article is not about politics in the Philippines. This is about the computerization of the Philippine election system.

Are Filipinos ready for automation? Let me give you some facts about the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) then give your thoughts if the Philippines is ready for an automated election system (AES) as mandated by law (RA 9369 - Automated Election Law):

* 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.
* On a national level, one in 10 Filipinos can not read and write, according to the survey.
* 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.

In addition, according to reports, two voting technologies will be used in the ARMM elections - Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) in Maguindanao, and Optical Mark Reader (OMR) in Lanao del Sur, Basilan, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi. More than 3,000 DRE machines and 156 OMR counting machines will be delivered to ARMM.

According to Comelec, “DRE uses electronic ballot, 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.”

The automated ARMM election is a pretest to the 2010 Presidential elections in the Philippines. If this test succeeds, then for sure the Automated Election System will be used. If not, then maybe the Philippine government will consider going back to the “control” method which is the conventional election most Filipinos are used to or improve any weaknesses that will be identified in the implementation of the computerized election process.

This brings to mind the question, “How reliable can the computerized (automated) election system be?” knowing that anything electronic is much easier to falsify. Will the election finally put an end to the “dagdag-bawas” dilemma in our nation’s election results? Or, will the automation process make it much easier to fake election returns? Is the software in the machines in the automated election properly tested and proven bug-free? That we will find out after the ARMM elections. Let the “trial-and-error” in our election process begin on August 11, 2008. :-)

http://www.jpsimbulan.com/2008/08/06/is-the-philippines-ready-for-an-automated-election-system/



Tuesday, 30 June 2009
What’s the worry over automated elections?

MANNY MOGATO
Manila Bulletin
http://www.mb.com.ph/articles/208159/what-s-worry-over-automated-elections

MANILA, June 24 (Reuters) — The Philippines’ Commission on Elections (Comelec) is signing a $150-million deal with a Barbados-based company this week to automate balloting at the presidential polls next year, hoping to avoid fraud and speed up results.

About 50 million Filipinos are choosing a president, vice president, nearly 300 members of the two-chamber legislature and more than 17,000 local government officials through the as yet-untested automated system.

Such scenarios are making local financial markets nervous.

Here are some questions and answers about the plan to automate the vote count in the Philippines.

Why automate the elections?

Hounded by allegations of poll fraud and manipulation of vote counts in past elections, the Philippines has embarked on a major project to automate voting, using machines that can scan ballots, print and transmit results that could declare winners within two hours at the local level and about 36 hours at the national level.

About 82,200 precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines will be deployed nationwide. Each machine is programmed to read about 1,000 ballots from four to five polling precincts at 350,000 locations across the archipelago.

The elections commission said the automation process will minimise human intervention in the process and reduce allegations of fraud. It would speed up the electoral process, giving it a result within two days instead of the weeks it has taken in the past.

Can it be done?

Lawmakers, politicians and analysts have expressed concern over the readiness of the country’s election agency to automate balloting because of the introduction of a brand-new system that has never been tested anywhere in the world.

At a congressional oversight hearing in the Senate, lawmakers frowned on the lack of planning by the election agency, including delivery, testing and actual operations of the machines.

There were also concerns over the financial and technical
capability of the Barbados- based company and its local partner that have won the contract for the poll automation.

There were also legal questions raised over the ownership of company due to rumours that the Venezuelan government may have control over it.

What happens next?

Critics fear that allies of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo could exploit any perceived malfunction in the automation process to invalidate the elections.

Candidates could lean on irregularities and flaws to contest results and a massive failure in the process could result in a power vacuum if no winners are declared on June 30, 2010 when terms of office of all elected officials, from the president down to municipal councilors, will expire.

Any potential civil unrest arising from the confusion over the failed automated process could be used as a pretext for declaring martial law and subsequently extend Arroyo’s term beyond June 2010.

Arroyo is not eligible to contest under constitutionally set term limits for elected officials. Critics accuse her and her allies of trying to amend the Charter to remove those limits, but it appears the move to revise the Constitution may not succeed.

Thus, her critics are worried that Arroyo and her allies may be pushing flawed automated balloting to create a scenario that will work in her favor.

What are officials saying?

Election commission officials are confident the automated balloting will succeed despite fears of technical problems and also say tallying of votes can be done manually if machines fail.






James Jimenez, a spokesman for the elections agency, said voting will still be done manually and only the counting is being automated, so if the machines break down, the ballots can be counted. There are also enough spare machines to replace any defective and malfunctioning PCOS.

Gabriel Claudio, the president’s political adviser, dismissed as “unfair’’ and “malicious’’ the speculation that the administration was preparing to make automated elections fail and keep Arroyo in power beyond June, 2010.

Claudio said the President was determined to hold credible, honest, and fast elections next year, a legacy that her government wanted to leave behind.

http://bayan-natin.blogspot.com/2009/06/whats-worry-over-automated-elections.html



MY POINTS OF VIEW:

Election is the process wherein we chose our leaders that will govern our nation's success. This 2010 automated election could be the opportunity for us to vote using the trends of technology and a chance to have a clean and fair election in this country. As what I have observed during past elections, there are lots of ways to manipulate the election process.It is either by using power or wealth. Few of them practice vote buying while Some of them results into a bloody and brutal killings of the individuals just for the sake of winning in the election. I just don't know why this insane politicians are doing this, maybe because of the power and the wealth of corruption in the Philippines.

This issue on automated election could be a source of corruption and dirty election or could the first step for a clean election. Those were the questions that comes in my mind when I heard about this topic. I have read some of the articles about this, and I know that the government have there good intention regarding automated election but if this project will be handled by those people who only think for there sake and not for the country's success then, I'm quite sure that this upcoming election would no difference to the past election that the country experienced.


Most of the Filipinos don't really know how to use this automated machines that will be used for election. For me, I'm not anti to this plan of the government. As an I.T. student it is a must for us to apply the development and success of technology here in our country. Especially in this case that we are facing right now. But we should all consider a lot of factors in deciding whether the Filipino people have the capabilities to adopt this technology specifically in terms of computer literacy. In my observation, the government is lucking on preparation for this project especially in introducing this technology to the people. Although they have programs for this to teach those computer illiterate but still it cannot support the number people who are in need for this program, especially here in Mindanao. I guess the government should provide enough time for the preparation for 2010 election if they really want there aims and goal for this automated election to be fruitful and meaningful.

The best way for us to fulfill our aims as a good citizen of this country is to start in our selves the attitude of honesty and to show the love and respect to our beloved country by being a vigilant and a good observant to this upcoming 2010 election.
Whether we use automation or manual process of voting, the future would only lies into our hand...
"MAGING MAPAGMATAYG!"



VOTE WISELY... FOR THE SAKE OF THE WELFARE OF OUR COUNTRY...

AW... BY THE WAY... it's my First TIME to vote this coming election... hmmmm...

I'll vote for the worthy one....

have a nice day ahead... Very Happy
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fatima paclibar



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PostSubject: Re: Assignment 3 (Due: July 09, 2009, before 01:00pm)   Mon Jul 06, 2009 1:50 pm

Automated Election in the Philippines

The Comelec – Commission on Election in the Philippines have been very busy for the neither previous months nor years preparing for the near May 10, 2010 presidential election. An automated election was proposed by Senator Richard Gordon and officially amended by Republic Act 9369 or the amended Automated Election System. Its main goal is to assure the Filipino people to have a fair, honest and clean election thus, to regain the trust of its people to the electoral process and to its government.

What is this Automated Election?

This is a modern electoral process and also known as the Republic Act 9369 or the Automated Election System, authored by Senator Richard Gordon.

The system involves machines to be deploy in every precincts nationwide that helps to minimized the allotted time for counting of votes, secure the votes of each Filipinos, minimized or totally eliminate cheating or election frauds and regain the trust of every Filipino to the government in terms of electoral process.

The government allotted 11.3 billion supplemental budgets for the said project. The winning bidder will provide 80,200 machines, two of these machines will be deploy on every precincts.

Instead of writing the names of the candidates in the ballot, voters will shade their chosen candidate names. So, it means there is still manual action occurs during the election proper however, the process does not end there. After the voting proper, every ballot will be scan by the Precinct Counting Optical Scan (PCOS) which records and stores the votes and hopefully it neither reduce nor minimize instances of fraud and cheating. The said ballots also feature security codes or markings to safeguard the votes of the people. Thus, this will reduce complaints for this system promises to be fast, accurate and reliable.

The system promises to give fast results in a matter of more or less two (2) days. Even though the actual voting will be manual but the counting and transmissions of votes will be fully automated thus, Comelec is confident that this automation of election will be a success one.

Automated Election Vs Manual Election.

For the recent years, the Philippines have had implemented the manual electoral process. From the word itself “manual” it literally means that every actions occur on the said election is between man to man, those who are involve in the said issue which are the voters and the election officers. From the election preparation, voting proper, vote counting, vote canvassing, result transmission to result generation it is facilitated, administered and the results are manually computed by people. In the manual scenario of election it is prone to fraud and cheating. Filipino voters had experienced to witness this kind of scheme thus; they have loss their trust to our election system. Some example to these election irregularities are vote buying, cheating in vote counting, flying voters, and harassment of voters.

As the technology evolves, Comelec sees that there is a need of a change in our electoral process. And this change leads to the amendment of automation of our election system. In this connection, the realization of the quest of the Filipino people to have a reliable, clean, honest and fair election results to the approval of Republic Act 9369 or the amended Automated Election System.

May 10, 2010 election is the target date of the first nationwide automated election to take place. The said automation had been tested on the Autonomous Region in Muslim Minadanao (ARMM) election on August 2008. That said election was made to be an experiment to test if the proposed automation of election process in this country would be applicable, effective and credible. In result, according to survey conducted by Social Weather Station (SWS) in the ARMM August 2008 election it said to be a successful one and it satisfy the voters in the ARMM.

The following statements is based on the survey conducted by the SWS:
Among ARMM people, 75 percent said that the automated voting in their regional election the previous August gave them “much more” or “somewhat more” confidence that the election was free and fair. In the national survey, on the other hand, only 40 percent said that the automation of the ARMM elections in August 2008 gave them added confidence that the ARMM elections were free and fair. In other words, actual participants became more assured of the fairness of the election process, while mere onlookers mostly stayed skeptical.
Unsurprisingly, the great majority (69 percent) of ARMM voters agreed with the proposal to implement automated voting in the 2010 presidential elections. Only 8 percent disagreed; 24 percent were undecided. (This question was not asked in the October national survey.)
Directly from the people who have actually experienced the automated election, in this case it shows that it is in favor to the automation of 2010 election.
To automate or not to automate the 2010 election.
As an Information Technology student in the University of Southeastern Philippines I would suggest or I will stand in the side of the automation of our electoral process. As mention above it is more advantageous for our government and most importantly to us – the people of the Philippines. The said modern system or the modernization of our election system is not just a mere accessory on our government that we are embracing the high technology around us but this system offer us a secure, reliable, fast, time saving, free, honest and clean election. We all need a change. We all need to hear our voices in this matter. We all need a government that we can trust. And we have the power to make it all come true. To safeguard our votes with this system, to put in position the people that we think best suited for the given positions. All we need is to trust this change; this automation of election will bring good to all of us. With this system, we can guarantee that are votes are safe, accurately recorded, securely stored and will give us accurate and fast results. Why stop the change, when it brings development to our nation? Come to think of it. We want an honest, free and a clean government, why not starts it now? Let us support the 2010 Automated Election System.














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neil rey c. niere



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PostSubject: My thoughts on automated elections with reference to the current situation..   Mon Jul 06, 2009 6:19 pm

Automated Election in the Philippines



All of us has the right in giving thoughts in every presentations that were presented in our country, 1 of this is the automated election for 2010's election. For me I think this process of election may be a confusing and I guess this type of election must be discussed well to everyone of us for further information and so that the election will be process well, no problems that may happen.

I have here some information regarding this type of election, all of us must be conscious and liable to know this type of election for the progress of our country.

Automated Election

In all the years that Automated Election Services has been doing business, no two elections have been alike. We don't expect that pattern to change. There are always unique circumstances and special problems which require extra attention. This is true of Native American tribes, cities, counties and even states. But that's okay. AES had built a strong business and formidable reputation around an ability to mold our expertise to the most oddly shaped requirement that a customer can have. We call it Total Process Management. We're the only company in North America that provides this service.

Equipments or components that are being used for Automated Election:

1. Counting machine - a machine that uses an optical scanning mark-sense reading
2. Data storage device - a device used to electronically store counting and device of any similar advanced technology to count ballots; canvassing results, such as, memory pack or diskette;
3. Computer set - a set of equipment containing regular components, i.e., monitor, central processing unit or CPU, keyboard and printer;
4. National Ballot - refers to the ballot to be used in the automated election system for the purpose of the May 1998 elections. This shall contain the names of the candidates for president, vice-president, senators and parties, organizations or coalitions participating under the party-list system;
5. Local Ballot - refers to the ballot on which the voter will manually write the names of the candidates of his/her choice for member of the House of Representatives, governor,vice-governor, members of the provincial board, mayor, vice-mayor, and members of the city municipal council.
6. Board of Election inspector - there shall be a Board of Election Inspectors in every precinct composed of three (3) regular members who shall conduct the voting, counting and recording of votes in the polling place.

Automated Election Services

Simply put, AES approaches each election as an individual project. We break down the election into its management components. Each component is analyzed and woven into the final project. The result of the Total Process Management approach is a successful election of the highest integrity. No matter what unique set of circumstances you have, we've seen their basic components and we can organize them into a systematic process that gets the job done.

AES(Automated Election Services) is able to provide each customer with the following products and services:

* Election Law/Ordinance
* Training & Education for:
Election Administration
Poll Officials
Technicians
Support Staff
* Voting Equipment
* AutoVote BallotPak Absentee Mailing & Tracking System
* Prepackaged Election Supplies
* Election Ballots:
Optical Scan
Pictorial
Color Coded
Security Features
Specialty Numbering
Bar Coding
Direct Access Imaging
* Election Results Tabulation
* Election Results Analysis
* Election Night Results Reporting
* Presort Mailing

Smartmatic

Smartmatic is a multinational corporation founded in 2000 that specializes in the design and deployment of complex purpose-specific technology solutions.

It is organized around three business areas: Electronic voting systems, integrated security systems, and biometric systems for people registration and authentication for government applications.

Electronic voting is a term encompassing several different types of voting, embracing both electronic means of casting a vote and electronic means of counting votes. Electronic voting technology can include punch cards, optical scan voting systems and specialized voting kiosks (including self-contained Direct-recording electronic (DRE) voting systems). It can also involve transmission of ballots and votes via telephones, private computer networks, or the Internet. Electronic voting technology can speed the counting of ballots and can provide improved accessibility for disabled voters. However, there has been contention, especially in the United States, that electronic voting, especially DRE voting, could facilitate electoral fraud.

Total Information Management

Total Information Management (TIM) Corporation is a wholly Filipino owned Information Technology (IT) company with nationwide operations offering varied products and services. It considers itself as "The Filipino IT Company" competing in a field dominated by multinationals.

Profile of TIM (Total Information Management):

Established in 1985 initially as the leading supplier for re-certified and refurbished IBM mainframes and peripheral equipment, TIM has grown into the Philippines' leading technology services company providing the full range of solutions for the IT needs of the country's largest enterprises. Our partnerships with technology suppliers such as HP, SUN, & EMC² and solutions suppliers such as Oracle, Microsoft, Infosys and CA to name a few, have allowed us to consistently develop highly successful and loyal relationships with our customer base. Our best references are our customers and the benefits that they have enjoyed from working with us.

Our proven track record has enabled us to bring the benefits of our highly skilled and experienced pool of technical resources to the global I.T. services industry, particularly in the more complex areas of Remote Data Center, and Network Management. We have invested in developing two of the largest fully equipped Data Centers in redundant configurations to ensure fault tolerant 24/7 support operations for our Outsourcing and Business Continuity Services.

References:

http://www.electionpeople.com/aes.aspx
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smartmatic
http://www.timcorp.net/main/index.php?pg=about.tim
http://hubpages.com/hub/Automated-Election-Are-we-ready


afro Let's do I.T.!!!


Last edited by neil rey c. niere on Wed Jul 08, 2009 11:13 pm; edited 1 time in total
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aeros salaga



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PostSubject: Reflection on Automated Election   Mon Jul 06, 2009 7:43 pm

Philippines says plan for automated election on again
Fri Jul 3, 2009 3:42pm IST

MANILA (Reuters) - The Philippines will hold automated presidential elections next year after the partners of a joint venture that won a $150 million deal to supply counting machines patched up their differences on Friday, officials said.
"We're back to automation," Jose Melo, head of the Commission on Elections (Comelec), told reporters after Filipino company Total Information Management signed a joint venture agreement with Barbados-based Smartmatic to supply 82,200 counting machines.
Lawmakers, political groups and analysts have previously cast doubts over the automated process. Many feared chaos due to potential machine breakdowns and delays in results transmission, which could lead to a failed election and political limbo.
But analysts say even manual counting would expose the elections to the likelihood of fraud. President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has faced four attempts at impeachment on charges she cheated in the last presidential election in 2004.
Melo said the incorporation papers of the joint venture to supply vote counting machines will be filed before the Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday and the contract with Comelec will be signed on Friday, the final deadline to automate the elections in May 2010.
If no automation contract is signed by July 10, Melo said the Philippines will likely scrap the deal and hold elections manually.
The automation should provide results within two days of voting instead of the weeks it takes currently, the agency has said.
On Monday, Melo said the plan to automate polls was likely to be scrapped because Smartmatic's local partner broke off from the deal due to differences, but gave the partners until Friday to resolve their dispute.

Reference: http://in.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idINIndia-40785720090703


2010 Philippine Automated Election in jeopardy
by Ryuji23 | July 1, 2009 at 03:26 am
MANILA, Philippines - The Commission on Elections (COMELEC) are now on the mindset of going back to manual counting if Smartmatic and TIM will not resolve their conflict. The COMELEC has given the two corporations until Friday to decide whether or not they could push through with the automation contract for the 2010 elections.
If the two companies cannot push through with the automation contract, COMELEC chairman Jose Melo admitted that next year’s elections might be done manually because the commission no longer has the time to convene a second bidding for a new supplier of machines.
Makati Rep. Teodoro Locsin Jr., chairman of the House electoral reform committee, told reporters that TIM president Antuñez wanted 500 million php “up front” from its foreign partner. “If you give me a half a billion pesos, all of these problems will be solved.” - This was what the president of Total Information Management Corp. had demanded in a tease manner, but Smartmatic took seriously.“Of course, they took this as a joke but lawyers do not laugh about such things. They took it as a deal breaker. The lawyers thought this was tantamount to extortion,” Locsin said.Locsin said that by making “impossible demands,” Antunez was laying the groundwork for its defense against a lawsuit to be filed by Smartmatic in Singapore. “P500 million is really big because Smartmatic’s bid is already the lowest. You are not supposed to do that, it’s illegal. You cannot just give P500 million profit to somebody. Why will you do that?” Locsin said.

Reference: http://www.nowpublic.com/world/2010-philippine-automated-election-jeopardy


Goals:
To ensure a credible and transparent electoral process, the modernization of the electoral system through computerization shall be supported to ensure the credibility of polls and correct the deficiencies in the electoral system. Likewise, the Omnibus Election Code shall be further revised and amended to respond to the needs of the present electoral system. Measures to strengthen the party system and regulate the activities of political parties shall be created. State financing of political parties shall also be considered through the passage of the Campaign Finance Bill. The COMELEC’s capacity to raise the level of political discourse and educate citizens regarding their right to vote will be enhanced. This will be done through conduct of continuing citizen and voter education through partnership with civil society groups and other government institutions. The electorate must be empowered with information that would help them vote intelligently. The challenge is to develop the people’s appreciation of their vote as a means to reform the government and receive better services from it. Part of this challenge is the need to raise the awareness of the electorate on relevant issues and the corresponding platforms of the candidates, if the country is to shift from the politics of personality to the politics of party programs.

Reference: http://www.neda.gov.ph/ads/mtpdp/mtpdp2004-2010/pdf/mtpdp%202004-2010%20neda_chapterx13_elections.pdf


Reflections:
Its just one of the big headlines that booms out the whole world of media. It’s the news about the Automated Election that will be used in 2010 election here in Philippines. According to the news updates, there are times that the automation for election has not been approved because of some financial and other conflicts. There are lots of questions that would come up in your mind about this issue, “are the Filipinos ready for the automated election?”, “could this help and improve the election system?”, “are these machines secured enough from some anomalies such us cheating?”, “are we capable for this system?”, and etc.. But such a big question for every responsible Filipino, “Would we go for automated election or not?”.
For me, as an IT student and an educated citizen of the Philippines, I choose to have an automated election Philippines. This is our chance to show the world that we are capable and well educated persons to have this kind of system for election. In my own understanding and point of view about this issue, I urge to choose the automated election because it is one way of helping our country to improve and let the world of IT evolve in us. Technology today is part of our lives for these help us make our life efficient and easy. Automated election helps our country establish a faster, reliable and efficient election system. Information Technology is the most concern about this situation. Businesses are improved and are still revolving in our world through the help of IT/IS.
Another question arises because of our countries economic income. “Can our country (Philippines) have an enough budget to sustain the offered amount?” According to the news headlines, automated election is threatened not to continue because of some financial problem and business transaction conflicts. “Can Philippines provide that such amount?” for me yes, using IT relations, we can find ways to provide the offered amount. Information System can help us deal with Financing problem. If we can understand more way of Information System/ the Information Technology, we will be able to solve our problem.
Develop your world, learn IT!
God bless us all!

visit my blog: http://aerosusep.blogspot.com/
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shane sacramento



Posts : 58
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Age : 25
Location : davao city

PostSubject: Re: Assignment 3 (Due: July 09, 2009, before 01:00pm)   Mon Jul 06, 2009 10:32 pm

Automation of 2010 Election
Smartmatic International Corp. (Smartmatic) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Smartmatic International Holding, BV, a company organized under the laws of The Netherlands. Smartmatic has organized elections using its electronic voting solutions in Latin America, the Carribean, the United States, and Asia.

Total Information Management Corporation (TIM) is a domestic corporation registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission in 1981. The corporation is engaged in the business of information technology and service provider.

As of today, the conflict between Smartmatic International Corporation and TIM(Total Information Management Corporation) has not yet been ended. In an unknown reason MIT backed out on the said partnership thus, making the automated election on 2010 in risk. Now, the Commission on Elections is left with four choices, if ever Smartmatic won't make it up with TIM on July 10 this year. Choices would be:

1. A second bidding- in which the Comelec will find other corporation/s, other than the said corporations, which will take too much time as for the first bidding that took almost three months.(http://www.gmanews.tv/story/166531/2010-Elections-Poll-Automation-Timeline)

2. A negotiated contract-in which the Comelec would have to give the contract to another corporations without the second bidding, which will put the election in danger as for Smartmatic-TIM are the only partnership that has passed all of the Comelecs requirements.

3. Partial automation-the Comelec will only automate the election in selected areas instead of nationwide automation this is due to small amount of budget thus, resulting to inconsistency.

4. Revert to manual elections-which means we would have to go back to manual voting, manual tallying and the same old ways to buy and fly votes.

Speaking of the automated election, let us talk about what the automation of election will do. I hear or read people's opinions and reactions about the said election. Some people say that it would be easier to cheat on the election, it would be easy to hack the system etc. Well, This is what I say.

Automation on the 2010 elections would do good for our sake and for other Filipinos sake, particularly to those who doesn't know how to write or read.

Our native people are the ones who will benefit most, in which they will be able to choose their candidates and they will rest assured that it was the right candidate because they're the ones who will press them. I have seen on a documentary that our native people only uses stick in order to verify that the names written by their "trusted person"(that's with double-quotes) in their(native people's) ballots are the right candidate, whom they wanted to vote. Isn't this too unfair for them? They can't assure that it was the right candidate or name, because they can't tell and for people like us who knows how to read and write, it would be easy to make long names short or vise versa.

It was proven that numbers of voters increased at Autonomous Region Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) on August 13, 2008. An automated election was conducted at the said region for the election on the same year.(http://www.smartmatic.com/pressroom/article/article/smartmatic-sahis-voting-solution-delivers-first-ever-automated-election-in-philippines-autonomous-r/)

On the other hand, disabled Filipinos would be able to vote without the help of their trusted person. The Smartmatic can provide voters with disabilities with voting machines. Buttons with specific shapes and colors, sip-and-puff devices and special earphones are just some of the features of these machines thus, giving every voter an equal right.(http://www.smartmatic.com/solutions/automated-election-system/single-view/article/the-new-standard-of-modern-democracy/)

Tallying would be more secure because every vote passed to the server will be immediately counted. Therefore, counting the votes or the wait of announcing winning candidates will not be prolonged. With this automatic counting of votes and tallying there will be no involved manual tallying thus, decreasing our teachers worries, that their lives would be in danger during the tallying.

Someone, on the internet reacted,"What would be the use of automation if there are still printed ballots for verification?". I don't mean to be rude, but the said verification is not like there will still be manual tallying again like before. But I guess, the verification means that a ballot will be printed so that each of the voters can verify that the candidates they have voted on the screen are the same as the ones on the printed ballots. If they see something wrong, then they can always change their votes. If there would be a manual tallying that will happen on the 2010 elections, maybe its just for the first time, then on the succeeding elections there will be no manual tallying.

Well, for me I'll go with automated election. Because I can see so many reasons why Filipino fails to vote or even register to be a voter.

First, it is far too time consuming and tiring to register. As for me, it even took me a whole day, just on registering for my right. The very poor regulations on the Comelec is very unfair. You see, I have been falling in line for how many hours, then a woman with a baby, who just arrived was accommodated first rather than me, I'm not being selfish, but it is their responsibility to register when they just turned 18, at their time. I believe that new voters or transferees should be the ones, who needs to be accommodated first.

Second, every voters lives are in great danger when election comes. Looking for your name on your scheduled precinct number also takes so long and there are cases that your name was not on the list and yet you have verified that you are a voter.

Third, Filipinos are incapable of voting due to disability or uneducation. They can't see, hear, speak, read and write.

So, by automated elections, numbers of Filipino people will take steps forward so that their voices can be heard. They will have courage to vote despite their disabilities. So lets not be selfish, let our native people and co-Filipino vote and speak for their rights. Additional, we already know that candidates can cheat with manual voting, why not see for ourselves if they can also cheat with automated election.

An update about Smartmatic-TIM partnership, the automation of 2010 elections will be pusued. As for the latest news I've heard and read, The two corporations were able to heal the conflict and it has been cleared that the conflict was due to the control of funds. Thus, the Comelec said that numbers of cases will be filed on both camps if they will choose to break-up again.(http://www.gmanews.tv/story/166518/Comelec-Its-all-systems-go-for-2010-poll-automation)
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basith_jumat



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PostSubject: Re: Assignment 3 (Due: July 09, 2009, before 01:00pm)   Tue Jul 07, 2009 2:27 am

[center]Automated elections!!!???
Before I start to share my insight about this “AUTOMATED ELECTION” I first discuss on what automated Election really is? Does it give an advantage or Disadvantage to the Filipino citizen? What benefits we can get using this kind of modern type of election system? Hmmm! Come and join me on exploring this topic.
What is automated election?


I. SITUATIONER


The conduct of elections in the Philippines for the past four decades has remained largely
unchanged. Philippine elections rely heavily on manual tallying and canvassing of votes thus making
them vulnerable to control and manipulation by traditional politicians and those with vested interests.
The cost of winning an elective post is highly expensive, and the absence of mechanisms to check
and limit sources of campaign funds become fertile grounds for corruption and divisiveness.
In recent years, initiatives to reform the electoral system included the enactment of the
following laws: Republic Act (RA) 8046, establishing a pilot program modernizing the registration
and vote counting process in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, the Party List Law,
Fair Elections Act and the Absentee Voting Act. To address the inadequacies and limitations of the
electoral process, RA 8436 or the Election Automation Act of 1997, was passed authorizing the
Commission on Elections (COMELEC) to use automated election system for vote counting and
canvassing in the national and local polls. The law provided for the generation of a national
computerized voters list, establishment of a voters identification card system and the automation of
the vote counting.
However, sectoral issues still hinder reform efforts in the electoral process. The following
have been identified as basic problems afflicting the electoral system: (a) outdated electoral
process; (b) failure to implement the electoral modernization law; (c) limited administrative and
regulatory capabilities of the COMELEC; (d) ineffective educational/information campaigns on
new laws and policies; (e) weak political party system; (f) unaccountable political financing; and
(g) defective party list system (Governance Assessment, 2003).

II. GOALS, STRATEGIES AND ACTION PLANS

To ensure a credible and transparent electoral process, the modernization of the electoral
system through computerization shall be supported to ensure the credibility of polls and correct the
deficiencies in the electoral system. Likewise, the Omnibus Election Code shall be further revised
and amended to respond to the needs of the present electoral system.
Measures to strengthen the party system and regulate the activities of political parties shall
be created. State financing of political parties shall also be considered through the passage of the
Campaign Finance Bill.
The COMELEC’s capacity to raise the level of political discourse and educate citizens
Regarding their right to vote will be enhanced. This will be done through conduct of continuing
Citizen and voter education through partnership with civil society groups and other government
Institutions, the electorate must be empowered with information that would help them vote
Intelligently, the challenge is to develop the people’s appreciation of their vote as a means to
Reform the government and receive better services from it. Part of this challenge is the need to
Raise the awareness of the electorate on relevant issues and the corresponding platforms of the
Candidates, if the country is to shift from the politics of personality to the politics of party
Programs


Does it give an advantage or Disadvantage to the Filipino citizen?


Automated election was commonly implemented to the country who wants a clean and a fair result of election. Because as of now we are in the technologies era in which most of the country who wants to be modernize their election for a certain Advantage of using a technology, especially in dealing with the integrity of the vote of each citizen in the country. As of now our country are trying to embrace this automated election for some reason, the Filipino citizen wants to maintain the security of the vote and hoping that one day they really feel their vote. And the cheating during election will be minimize, we can not say that cheating were totally vanished although we are using an electronically election system but some of political candidates are trying to buy the vote of the voters. The Philippines will hold automated presidential elections next year after the partners of a joint venture that won a $150 million deal to supply counting machines patched up their differences on Friday, officials said. Now we can differentiate the advantage and the disadvantage. Although it so expensive to have this kind of electronically base of election system but the important for us voters is our votes will be count to the corresponding candidates that we are going to vote.
What benefits we can get using this kind of modern type of election system?
If we can meet the goal of this automated election we can say that there is a lot of benefits that we can get from this. One, we can establish to other country that we have a good election system in our country. Second, the tourist will be fascinating to visits our country because we have a leader that really voted by the majority. Third, the integrity of COMELEC will be maintain and so for..
As an IT student do I care on this matter?

Yes, of course this is one of the hottest issues in the country today regarding the usage of technologies. If I have been choose weather manual or automated. I go for automated because being an IT, I saw the big advantage of having an electronically base of election system. In my insight through using this kind of technologies can provide a leader who are really voted by the voters. For short, cheating during the counting of ballots will be prevented and the fairness to the candidates will reign. So, the confidence of the voters will become more strong and same with the trust for the leader that they have been vote. Actually before adopting this kind of system I know that we can encounter a big problem in terms with the financial needs. we are not blind on what is the real status of our economics right now, we are affected by the global financial crisis but we are hoping that through investing this kind of election system will help our country to develop.





http://www.neda.gov.ph/ads/mtpdp/mtpdp2004-2010/pdf/mtpdp%2020042010%20neda_chapterx13_elections.pdf
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kristine_delatorre



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PostSubject: Re: Assignment 3 (Due: July 09, 2009, before 01:00pm)   Tue Jul 07, 2009 2:39 am


in the corrupt system of election in the Philippines, ways are suggest to sought the cheating and manipulation of vote results in the election which is considered as the mirror of democracy in the Philippines. Cheating - the main concern of many has pulled masses attention as well as the government to find ways to make the election clean this 2010. And the answer - ELECTION AUTOMATION.

It was tested on August 11, 2008 at the ARMM (Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao) election has been automated. A great signed of acceptance that Automated Election could be the answer for this dilemma. According to COMELEC Chairman Jose Melo, he was very very satisfied with the results of the poll in ARMM where it is said to be the cheating capital of the Philippines.

The automated Election in ARMM was the result of the efforts of government to call newly-organized grouped of information technology professionals to use open standards and open-source technology for the automation of election in the Philippines.(Oliva, 2008)

The ARMM election on August 11, 2008 was under the contract of the two technology vendors in supply the optical-mark reader and direct recording electronic tecnologies.

According to Ito Gruet, an IT Professional and member of the advocacy for open systems in Election, the use of open standards or open source technology would promote transparency in the development of the automated elections system.

the Republic Act 9369, or the Automated Election system Law, it indicates that a technical evaluation committee must conduct a source code review of the software running on the machines that are deployed by the COMELEC.

The poll automation deal has been set, Total Information Management Corp.(TIM) and Smartmatic Consortium signed contract with the COMELEC. It has lessen the weariness of many and hope for the best that the 2010 election would be a clean election. The COMELEC-Smartmatic contract offers us the chance that there will be less risks of unhumane event that would happen in the span the time of waiting the results in which days would be lessen in counting ballots.

But the last minute withdrawal of the Filipino partner of the Smartmatic Consortium, the TIM has cause threats that might lead to the collapse of the project.

it is said that the reason of TIM was the irreconcilable difference of them with the foreign partner - Smartmatic.

"The withdrawal of TIM has heightened concerns that the 2010 election might not be held or that an election marred by fraud might lead to a future in election. providing an excuse for Pres. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to declare a national emergency which would result in the extension of her term beyond 2010." stated in the Editorial Page written by Amando Doronila, 2009.

In layman's term, "Napulitika na naman!". The withdrawal of TIM gives many speculation to Filipino masses on the probable reasons behind it.

Now, let's take a look in a different point of view about the withdrawal of TIM in the contract. As an IT student, i have read some article about this issue. I have come up with the following understanding:

1. "Local Information technology provider (TIM) had backed out of their joint venture for election automation, fearing the deal would give its foreign partner uncontrollable power that would give its foreign partner uncontrollable power that could lead to potential abuse, according to an Industry source close to TIM" (Dumlao, 2009)

It is said that COMELEC would have paid the providers 7.19 billion for the lease of good and purchase of services.

That was a big amount the some has give the TIM different feeling.

2. In troubleshooting, Smartmatic will be responsible for preventing and troubleshooting of technical problems of the Election. Furthermore, according to Philippine Inquirer sources, Tim did not want to be part of a system that could lead to electronic cheating.

3. TIM were concern in "no say" software development, despite being the technical partner of Smartmatic, TIM would be pity, if electronic cheating to occur.

In the provision of the proposed contract with COMELEC and Smartmatic-TIM joint venture, it stated that "provider with the greater track record in automated election, shall in charge of the technical aspects of the counting and canvassing, software and hardware, including transmission configuration and system integration".

In other words, TIM responsibility was less than Smartmatic, going much interest to Smartmatic than TIM.

Smartmatic executives, on the other hand said they had technical expertise on conducting electronic elections and should play a bigger role.

4. Officials said the break up partnership was prompted by disagreements on who should control the purse in the P 7.2 billion deal and make decision.

5. Cheating could not be avoided. Machines are not perfect. COMELEC's precinct count optical scan configuration and Smartmatic' OMR (optimal mark reader) machines are not perfect. But, normally, OMR counting machines can be verya precise. But we don't know and we cant tell that it has been programmed for automated and undetected cheating.

6. According to the article written by the president of Systems Science Consult Inc., there are many ways to cheat in the election. It's like a hidden cheating. Where in it could happen in the program or the OMR have something to do with it. Some of his points stated that The Comelec propose of automatically transmit election results from OMR counting machines to the municipality or city server, though it is the fastest way cannot guarantee honest elections and does not provide transparency of the election counting press.

Anyone who is knowledgeable of the system could change the programs on the machines from a remote and undetected location.

----this has made me realized that systems could be corrupt or be invaded by anyone who is desperate to win unchangeable fight. Though automation is possible in the Election let us still not be fully reliable to the accurateness of it. Let be watchful. Automation is a way to help transistion from the dirty manual system of election but the point is, though automated or not, technology are only tools for progress. It is us who makes the difference and how should we practice honesty and integrity. I am favor for automated election for i trust in the machine's capabilty but rest assure programmers must be very honest and impose security to the system to be not manipulated by any.


References:

"Open Source software use to sought in automated election system" - Erwin Oliva, Inquirer.net

http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/

" Automated Election can be used to cheat" - Alcuaz, Manuel Jr. , Philippine Daily Inquirer, 2009

" Local IT firms Execs Fear" - Dumlao, Doris, Philippine Daily Inquirer, 2009

"Poll Automation Deal: Comelec bidder - iron out differences" - Alave, Kristine L., Philippine Daily Inquirer, 2009

"Poll Nightmare" - Doronila, Amando, Philippine Daily Inquirer, 2009
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Roy Cuevas



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PostSubject: Assignment 3   Tue Jul 07, 2009 11:13 am

As of this moment, Smartmatic, a Netherlands-based company, and TIM(Total Information Management), have once again joined arms after having a dispute over the handling of the budget for the upcoming automated elections on May 2010. A few days ago, these two companies decided that they would not go on further as the primary handlers of the upcoming automated elections because they could not decide as to how the P7.2 billion budget for the May 2010 automated elections will be handled. This caused suspense and apprehension in the Philippines, because all were thinking that we would go back again to our traditional manual style of voting, or worse was that no elections would happen, although President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo already confirmed that we need not panic because there will be a May 2010 elections that will happen. Now, we are sure that we will have an automated elections this 2010.
But what really are the advantages of having an electronic and automated election instead of the traditional manual system of voting and canvassing of votes? According to Senator Richard Gordon, these were the key benefits and advantages of the system.

1. Automated elections will result to faster election results.
What used to take two months will now take, at most, a day. Political contests will not drag on as in the past. Nobody will have time to call anybody while the count is being made.
This is very true. I’ve always really criticized our manual system of voting, because when I see the US do their elections, just like their recent elections where President Barack Obama won, it doesn’t take months to decare who won. Days are counted, and not months, before there is a winner there. I think a day is enough, before there is a declaration. Here, after the elections, we see politicians declaring that they were cheated if they notice that their votes are falling down. And also political protests and rallies in the streets are common after we have an election and while the votes are tallied.

2. It will stop wholesale cheating like "Dagdag Bawas", which has to do with massive changing of election returns.
Because the election is automated, the tallying of the votes is also automated, and will not be managed manually, like writing. Therefore, the use of “Dagdag Bawas” will not be happening, that is tampering of the votes while tallying, putting the votes of others into other candidates.

3. The system is technology neutral. We did not design it for a particular company. We won't be locked into any technology at present, but rather remain open to more modern technologies as they are developed and tested in future.
Utilizing technology is really beneficial to people, although it also has its downsides. But, like the use of technology in the elections, just like now, we are using technology as a means to deliver an accurate and more reliable election. The technology now is good, but if there are possible developments to make the automated election more secure and more reliable, then we can also use that.

4. Only systems with demonstrated capability will be used.
All the equipment and all the technology that will be used in the upcoming May 2010 elections did not just appear and were decided upon to be used. These were tested by Comelec on standards and certain conditions before they were used. There were several companies that were decided upon, and Smartmatic won the bidding.


5. It provides for automatic random manual audit.
As for the auditing, we are assured that it will be a fast one because all the results are already in a form where it will be easy to handle, not like the past elections. And also, random people will take over it.

But even though we know that the automated elections will have a positive effect in our maturity as a nation, there are still some people that are skeptical about it. They say that the automated elections will subject to cheating. Politicians could hire IT experts that could hack the machines to be used in the elections and they could make the outcome be in their advantage. But if proper security measures and back-up plans will be made, which I am sure they are doing now, there will be an honest election that will take place. Unless these “politicians” are really bent on doing everything possible to ensure their seat in the following term, we cannot help if they result to even malevolent activity. In that situation, we will rely on our police and our military, and not blame the failure on the fact that we are having an electronic and automated election. Also, if we were to have an automated election and the proclamation would be just a day or two after the voting, then, if and only if, there will be election-related violence that would take place, then the Comelec could focus more on that, and not on the protest rallies and the petitions of politicians that could not take that they were beaten and would always say that they were cheated. There would be fewer controversies because the results of the votes would not be handled by hand by people and there would be less speculation, because the votes would be handled electronically, and only specified people would be allowed to handle it.

For me, having this kind of election, which is an electronic and automated one, will be a small step by the Philippines to grow maturely, and to erase the “Third World” name that we have had for a very long, long time. Look at the US, the results of their elections are given in a span of days, not months just like ours. And we could also say that their politicians there are disciplined and mature, because they would not hesitate to recede if they knew that they could not make the position that they wish to win in. Not like here in the Philippines, were they say there are two kinds of politicians during the elections; those who win, and those who were cheated. There are no losers, they say. The protest even continues even after the candidate that won has already been seated. The news every night would always be the party that lost or his/her family and relatives, saying that they were cheated.

This change that we will be making will not take overnight to be a perfect one. It will be a gradual process, towards what we will call “a clean and honest election”. Even in other countries, there is still no perfect electronic election system in the world. All have their own problems that they are dealing with.

With this technology now, our way of voting and electing has progressed, and it will continue to develop as time goes by, slowly learning from mistakes until we learn our lessons. Having a fast and credible electoral process is a challenge that we Filipinos must improve. The problem of political dispute, corruption, honesty and proper governance is another.



References:
http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/breakingnews/infotech/view/20080513-136300/Computer_group_assesses_planned_ARMM_automated_elections

http://www.comelec.gov.ph/modernization/automation_hist1996.html

http://www.senate.gov.ph/press_release/2009/0318_gordon1.asp

comments at
http://roycuevas.blogspot.com/


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Franz Cie B. Suico



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PostSubject: Re: Assignment 3 (Due: July 09, 2009, before 01:00pm)   Tue Jul 07, 2009 6:25 pm

My thoughts about the automated elections with reference to the current situation. study

First, let me explain what is an automated election is all about. An automated election is a system using appropriate technology for voting and electronic devices to count votes and canvass/consolidate results. So, in short making the counting procedure automated, as before which is manually tallied.

In December 22, 1997 former President Ramos signs the Republic Act 8436, otherwise known as “AN ACT AUTHORIZING THE COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS TO USE AN AUTOMATED ELECTION SYSTEM IN THE MAY 11, 1998 NATIONAL OR LOCAL ELECTIONS AND IN SUBSEQUENT NATIONAL AND LOCAL ELECTORAL EXERCISES, PROVIDING FUNDS THEREFOR AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES”.

Its component include: 1) Implementation of Comelec’s VRIS project, 2) National Precinct Mapping and the 3) Certified Voters’ List Verification where the Comelec’s project of Automated Counting and Consolidation of Results System (Accors) will be implemented. Accors is Comelec’s supposed solution for clean voters’ list.

For the people who are behind the project, the Smartmatic-TIM agreed and formalizes their joint venture, which won the P7.2 billion poll automation contract with the comelec despite the differences between the two companies.

As for the current situation, all eyes are in the issue about automated elections, some people say that is a bad thing to do because they have other agenda; some other says that it will be better if they pursue automated elections for faster results. As we all know the 2010 automated elections are going to pursue. And it will be the country’s first nationwide automated elections.

Is the Philippines ready for automated election? Are we ready for something new? First, let us discuss the advantages and disadvantages that will emerge if our country engages with an automated election.

Smartmatic (also referred as Smartmatic Corp. or Smartmatic International) is a multinational corporation founded in 2000 that specializes in the design and deployment of complex purpose-specific technology solutions. It is organized around three business areas: Electronic voting systems, integrated security systems, and biometric systems for people registration and authentication for government applications. Smartmatic offers the Smartmatic Automated Election System (SAES), a unified voting, scrutiny, tabulation, allocation and result broadcast solution -suitable for any type of election- which was officially released in 2003. In addition to the many benefits of the SAES system, its most outstanding advantage lies in the guarantee of total transparency in any given electoral or referendum process. SAES offers the possibility to verify and audit results through different means, guaranteeing zero numerical inconsistencies between all stages covered by every single vote, from actual casting to final scrutiny. Smartmatic provides us other benefits and advantages if we will deal with automation of election.

Let me site what benefits that we can get from this “automated election”?

• Financial Savings

Though automated elections deals with acquiring computer, hence will cost a large amount of money, it can still cut cost in other expenses, i.e. labor cost. Since the computer would do the counting. That means fewer laborers are needed. Normally, automation requires a large up-front investment in hardware and software, as well as expensive training of electoral workers and running educational campaigns for voters. Automated elections guarantees short- and long-term returns that can greatly compensate for the initial investment.

• Increased speed and efficiency of electoral tasks and faster electoral result

The computer to be used has internal tools that can increase speed and efficiency for some important works during the election. Also, using computers would make the election itself faster. Voting manually would consume time for the voters to write name of the candidates, etc. Also, with vast advancement of technology, the machine/ computer has a tool that can count the votes faster and more accurate. Using computers/machines, they would be the one to tally and transmit the votes to the electoral board without human intervention. The automated electoral system mechanisms significantly reduce the chances of errors, because vote counting is based on an internal machine count rather than on individual ballots, which can be tampered with.

• Improved capacity to identify and prevent frauds

With the system using ultra-safe encryption algorithms to store and transmit each vote from the SAES voting machine to the tabulation centers, tampering of votes will be prevented and the integrity of the elections would be higher.
On the other hand, one of the disadvantages of using computers/ machine in election is the broad knowledge of man in terms of technology. Though computers may have high securities, there are many computer “geeks” that can bombard the computers and the system as a whole. They have many ways to hack those computers to be used in the elections. Hackers are the number one enemy of this system. Hackers are known to infiltrate and manipulate even the most sophisticated computer programs in the world. Also, technology, though seems to be perfect, may still have errors in its components. We all know that no computer system is 100% tamper-proof, or foolproof. We are not sure that it, the automated election, may give us the best results of the elections. Also, can this system eliminate other election-related problems like vote buying?

Disadvantages of this “automated elections”?

• Is it Feasible? scratch

If one out of ten Filipinos have no ability to read and write at the same time, is it possible for the Philippines to have automated elections? Let us remember that for the past decades, Filipinos have successfully voted even though some do not know how to read and write. Clearly, the Philippines will be pushing through with the automated elections by the year 2010. An automated election will be feasible in the Philippines with the right and proper technology or system to be used. There are certain problems that it might encounter. Electricity in the rural areas of the Philippines is not always available; if it is available it is not that reliable. If the Commission on Elections will use Direct Recording Equipment Process there would be a problem in deploying the hundreds of thousands of units to different locations all through out the Philippines. A number of technical personnel are needed to install the system. The government already provided a budget for the transmission of the machines as well as payments needed for the technical personnel. All the voters must be trained to use the DRE system. According to Senator Gordon, Filipinos are smart enough to participate in an automated election. He also suggested that an automated election is going to be more feasible if there would be a national ID system based on biometrics.

Presented with the advantages and disadvantages, another question may arise, will the people of the Philippines be able to adapt to the new system?

In the present generation, people became more literate, especially with the use of computer. Having had computer lessons during elementary and secondary education, even in public schools, people know the basics on the use of computer. One survey conducted was that about 25 million Filipinos are using computers and the internet, mostly in developed cities. Though some are underprivileged, they still have access on computers through internet cafes. However, that is in the urban area. How about in the rural and the isolated area? We all know that the Philippines is a developing country, and many areas here do not permit people to have a technology-integrated lives. Especially in the province, many indigenous ethnic groups do not know how to use computer, nor, do they know how to read and write. So, how can these people adapt to the new system? They need time to learn. Also, some areas here in the Philippines do not have electricity. In those areas, for sure, they would conduct manual voting. It is not consistent that some areas will have automated election, while some have manual elections. Actually, last August 2008, the ARMM conducted their elections. They used a new system of automation. Hence, the COMELEC said that the election was a success. COMELEC said that they were “very, very satisfied” with the conduct of the elections in the ARMM, dubbed the “cheating capital” of the Philippines. And less than 24 hours, more than half of the poll results were in with the COMELEC. As what we discussed earlier, automated election would increase speed and efficiency, like what the ARMM election has experienced. Actually, this automated election in ARMM is an experiment for the 2010 National election. If the ARMM election is a success, would be the National Election on 2010 be a success with the use of computer? We’ll find out since the President signed the law that passed Republic Act No. 9525 appropriating 11.3-billion supplemental budgets for the full automation of the elections, a first in Philippine history. Hence, that is next year, we will see if the Philippines will be capable of having an automated election.

For me, Filipinos, next elections. It provided a background on the basics of online/automated elections, the components needed to make it possible, the methods that would be employed to guarantee the integrity safety of the votes, a discussion on the general feasibility as grounded to the advantages and disadvantages of the technology, and everything was then contextualized to fit the circumstances of the Philippines. It can then be concluded that online/automated/computerized elections can be possible in the Philippines if sufficient training and preparations are employed in spearheading it. The long-term benefits of the said platform for voting greatly exceed the initial technological and training costs that it would entail making it a feasible investment in the future for our country. But even if this new voting platform is grounded on technology and is streamlined by modernity, it is still not foolproof. Many problems were discussed regarding the possibility of hacking and the crashing of the system but it can still be considered safer than the manual voting system that we have been implementing for so long now. The problem of digital divide was also alluded to the discussion. The Philippines, as a developing country, has regions and groups of people that are deprived of technology and proper training and education. This might lead to an accidental and virtual exclusion of these people and towns from the up and coming online elections, which might possibly make lessen the voters’ turnout and the whole democracy of our elections. It can also be deduced that the implementation of the online elections will not only strengthen the integrity of our votes but in the process close the digital divide that we are experiencing right now. By training our people to use ICT, we are making them ready to use it for more things to come-not just for mere electoral usage. To end, our country might be a long way to go from being industrialized and fully prepared to reap the benefits of ICT in every major part of our everyday lives, but the conduct of the 2010 online/automated elections is a still a big step forward towards the achievement of a truly democratic and honest elections and the closure of the digital divide as a whole. Our infrastructures might not be at par to other countries and our people might not be fully informed and trained yet, but these shortcomings can be greatly remedied if we are equipped with the willingness to learn and adapt to our ever-changing world.

References:
http://www.gmanews.tv/index.html
http://inquirer.net
http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/inquirerheadlines/nation/view/20090306-192592/All-go-for-automated-elections-in-2010

visit my blog at http://franzcie.blogspot.com cheers


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♥ilyn_mapalo♥



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PostSubject: Re: Assignment 3 (Due: July 09, 2009, before 01:00pm)   Tue Jul 07, 2009 8:56 pm

Thoughts about automated election with regards to the current issue


Issue:

It was heard and seen in the television about what happened to the two companies namely the Total Information Management Corp. (TIM) and Smartmatic International. According to Comelec Chairman Jose Melo, there are some conflicts between the two companies. It says that the TIM was back outing from the partnership of SMARTMATIC. Some issues they were thinking why it was happened is that there are some politicians manipulating TIM to give up the partnership. Some also said that its issue is about financial which is competing either which of the two can get the higher profit in this automated elections.

With that, Comelec were trying their best to make the two companies joint venture together. They are giving TIM and SMARTMATIC days to fix their problem until last July 7, 2009, there's a news aired about it. This was what happened:a

"The information technology companies that will supply the voting machines and the operational expertise to the Commission on Elections (Comelec) for the 2010 automated elections submitted their incorporation papers to the Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday morning, a poll official said.

Smartmatic International and Total Information Management Corp. signed and filed before the SEC their joint venture agreement, which was the source of contention between the two firms last week, Comelec legal chief Ferdinand Rafanan said in an interview.

The poll body was expecting to sign the poll automation contract with the joint venture on or before Friday, he added.

By Monday next week, the Comelec could issue the "notice to proceed" to Smartmatic-TIM so that they could start manufacturing the voting machines in Taiwan.

The Smartmatic-TIM consortium won in the bidding for the contract of the Comelec’s poll automation project with a P7.2-billion proposal. However, the election automation project was almost derailed last week when the Filipino-owned TIM withdrew from its partnership with the Dutch firm Smartmatic over the question of power and control of funds.

Under pressure from Comelec, which threatened to sue TIM, and from other sectors, Smartmatic and TIM patched up their differences late last week ."

http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/breakingnews/nation/view/20090706-214142/Smartmatic-TIM-give-SEC-joint-venture-papers

What was really the "Automated Election"?

Based on the Senate Bill No. 2231: (13th Congress) which entitled:

AN ACT AMENDING REPUBLIC ACT NO. 8436, ENTITLED AN ACT AUTHORIZING THE COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS TO USE AN AUTOMATED ELECTION SYSTEM IN THE MAY 11, 1998 NATIONAL OR LOCAL ELECTIONS AND IN SUBSEQUENT NATIONAL AND LOCAL ELECTORAL EXERCISES, TO ENCOURAGE TRANSPARENCY, CREDIBILITY, FAIRNESS AND ACCURACY OF ELECTIONS, AMENDING FOR THE PURPOSE BATAS PAMBANSA BLG. 881, AS AMENDED, REPUBLIC ACT NO. 7166 AND OTHER RELATED ELECTIONS LAWS, PROVIDING FUNDS THEREFOR AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES.

On section 2 on the said article defines the automated election system as:
A system using appropriate technology for voting, counting, consolidating, canvassing, transmission of election results and other processes in the conduct of electoral exercises.

Equipments or components that are being used for Automated Election:

1. Counting machine - a machine that uses an optical scanning mark-sense reading
2. Data storage device - a device used to electronically store counting and device of any similar advanced technology to count ballots; canvassing results, such as, memory pack or diskette;
3. Computer set - a set of equipment containing regular components, i.e., monitor, central processing unit or CPU, keyboard and printer;
4. National Ballot - refers to the ballot to be used in the automated election system for the purpose of the May 1998 elections. This shall contain the names of the candidates for president, vice-president, senators and parties, organizations or coalitions participating under the party-list system;

This ballot shall be counted by the counting machine:

5. Local Ballot - refers to the ballot on which the voter will manually write the names of the candidates of his/her choice for member of the House of Representatives, governor,vice-governor, members of the provincial board, mayor, vice-mayor, and members of the city municipal council.
6. Board of Election inspector - there shall be a Board of Election Inspectors in every precinct composed of three (3) regular members who shall conduct the voting, counting and recording of votes in the polling place.

Many questions and complains arise from this issue such as:

* How reliable can be the automated election system be?
Some people said that anything that is being done through computerized would be easier to falsify.
* In the side of indigenous people it would be hard for them to vote if the election will be done automatically because some of them are illiterate.

Advantages of the system to this coming 2010 election:

* There will be no ballot box snatching as the ERs are transmitted electronically for canvassing
* There is less work for the Board of Election Inspectors (BEI)
* If all precincts are connected, national results can be produced within one hour after the close of voting
* There is automated tally of votes at the city/municipal level
* The DRE can include an automated voter validation system
* Canvassing at the city/municipal and provincial levels is almost instantaneous
* There is an instantaneous tally of votes at the precinct level
* Ballots are pre-printed and voters simply mark choices

http://hubpages.com/hub/Automated-Election-Are-we-ready

Technology changes and we can't deny the fact that we are looking forward unto this changes. And since we are now in the modern world, we are trying to give also some importance that can be useful in our lives. By means of technology, everything are getting easier and faster. Sometimes even the impossible one turn into the possible one. Corporations and company is one that is affected with the changes of technology. And each corporation or company keeps on updating to the new one. With this automated election, it will become easy to the people assigned during election time to keep things that involved in the election process. Maybe there will be some leakage but results will be come out in just an hour if it was. So, go to the automated election! Just hoping cheating please be avoided to the politicians..aw..haha!peace...:-) lol!


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shane sacramento



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PostSubject: Re: Assignment 3 (Due: July 09, 2009, before 01:00pm)   Tue Jul 07, 2009 9:06 pm

Automation of 2010 Election
Smartmatic International Corp. (Smartmatic) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Smartmatic International Holding, BV, a company organized under the laws of The Netherlands. Smartmatic has organized elections using its electronic voting solutions in Latin America, the Carribean, the United States, and Asia.

Total Information Management Corporation (TIM) is a domestic corporation registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission in 1981. The corporation is engaged in the business of information technology and service provider.

As of today, the conflict between Smartmatic International Corporation and TIM(Total Information Management Corporation) has not yet been ended. In an unknown reason MIT backed out on the said partnership thus, making the automated election on 2010 in risk. Now, the Commission on Elections is left with four choices, if ever Smartmatic won't make it up with TIM on July 10 this year. Choices would be:

1. A second bidding- in which the Comelec will find other corporation/s, other than the said corporations, which will take too much time as for the first bidding that took almost three months.(http://www.gmanews.tv/story/166531/2010-Elections-Poll-Automation-Timeline)

2. A negotiated contract-in which the Comelec would have to give the contract to another corporations without the second bidding, which will put the election in danger as for Smartmatic-TIM are the only partnership that has passed all of the Comelecs requirements.

3. Partial automation-the Comelec will only automate the election in selected areas instead of nationwide automation this is due to small amount of budget thus, resulting to inconsistency.

4. Revert to manual elections-which means we would have to go back to manual voting, manual tallying and the same old ways to buy and fly votes.

Speaking of the automated election, let us talk about what the automation of election will do. I hear or read people's opinions and reactions about the said election. Some people say that it would be easier to cheat on the election, it would be easy to hack the system etc. Well, This is what I say.

Automation on the 2010 elections would do good for our sake and for other Filipinos sake, particularly to those who doesn't know how to write or read.

Our native people are the ones who will benefit most, in which they will be able to choose their candidates and they will rest assured that it was the right candidate because they're the ones who will press them. I have seen on a documentary that our native people only uses stick in order to verify that the names written by their "trusted person"(that's with double-quotes) in their(native people's) ballots are the right candidate, whom they wanted to vote. Isn't this too unfair for them? They can't assure that it was the right candidate or name, because they can't tell and for people like us who knows how to read and write, it would be easy to make long names short or vise versa.

It was proven that numbers of voters increased at Autonomous Region Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) on August 13, 2008. An automated election was conducted at the said region for the election on the same year.(http://www.smartmatic.com/pressroom/article/article/smartmatic-sahis-voting-solution-delivers-first-ever-automated-election-in-philippines-autonomous-r/)

On the other hand, disabled Filipinos would be able to vote without the help of their trusted person. The Smartmatic can provide voters with disabilities with voting machines. Buttons with specific shapes and colors, sip-and-puff devices and special earphones are just some of the features of these machines thus, giving every voter an equal right.(http://www.smartmatic.com/solutions/automated-election-system/single-view/article/the-new-standard-of-modern-democracy/)

Tallying would be more secure because every vote passed to the server will be immediately counted. Therefore, counting the votes or the wait of announcing winning candidates will not be prolonged. With this automatic counting of votes and tallying there will be no involved manual tallying thus, decreasing our teachers worries, that their lives would be in danger during the tallying.

Someone, on the internet reacted,"What would be the use of automation if there are still printed ballots for verification?". I don't mean to be rude, but the said verification is not like there will still be manual tallying again like before. But I guess, the verification means that a ballot will be printed so that each of the voters can verify that the candidates they have voted on the screen are the same as the ones on the printed ballots. If they see something wrong, then they can always change their votes. If there would be a manual tallying that will happen on the 2010 elections, maybe its just for the first time, then on the succeeding elections there will be no manual tallying.

Well, for me I'll go with automated election. Because I can see so many reasons why Filipino fails to vote or even register to be a voter.

First, it is far too time consuming and tiring to register. As for me, it even took me a whole day, just on registering for my right. The very poor regulations on the Comelec is very unfair. You see, I have been falling in line for how many hours, then a woman with a baby, who just arrived was accommodated first rather than me, I'm not being selfish, but it is their responsibility to register when they just turned 18, at their time. I believe that new voters or transferees should be the ones, who needs to be accommodated first.

Second, every voters lives are in great danger when election comes. Looking for your name on your scheduled precinct number also takes so long and there are cases that your name was not on the list and yet you have verified that you are a voter.

Third, Filipinos are incapable of voting due to disability or being unable to go to school or have never attended school. They can't see, hear, speak, read and write.

So, by automated elections, numbers of Filipino people will take steps forward so that their voices can be heard. They will have courage to vote despite their disabilities. So lets not be selfish, let our native people and co-Filipino vote and speak for their rights. Additional, we already know that candidates can cheat with manual voting, why not see for ourselves if they can also cheat with automated election.

An update about Smartmatic-TIM partnership, the automation of 2010 elections will be pusued. As for the latest news I've heard and read, The two corporations were able to heal the conflict and it has been cleared that the conflict was due to the control of funds. Thus, the Comelec said that numbers of cases will be filed on both camps if they will choose to break-up again.(http://www.gmanews.tv/story/166518/Comelec-Its-all-systems-go-for-2010-poll-automation)
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Tanya Clarissa G. Amancio



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PostSubject: Re: Assignment 3 (Due: July 09, 2009, before 01:00pm)   Wed Jul 08, 2009 2:33 am

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.
Like a Star @ heaven Advantages Like a Star @ heaven
bounce It provides efficient way for voting with less hassle.
bounce Voters cannot prolong the process of voting and lined up in a crowd.
bounce You get a tally immediately, rather than having to count votes by hand.
bounce Increased speed and efficiency of electoral task and faster electoral results

Like a Star @ heaven Disadvantages Like a Star @ heaven
silent Financial Savings
silent 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.
silent 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.

http://www.jpsimbulan.com/2008/08/06/is-the-philippines-ready-for-an-automated-election-system/

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. Very Happy As what I've read in the article "Let the “trial-and-error” in our election process begin" Very Happy

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Joseph Ethel Valdez



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PostSubject: AsSiGnMent 3   Wed Jul 08, 2009 3:28 pm

Views and Opinion regarding Automated Election

Nowadays corporation take the advantage of technological advancements to help improve the functionality and security of data being processed inside the company. Various system of file keeping and storing of information are being used as tools for corporate development and progress. Most organizations find the usual system of manual handling of data time-consuming and more prone to error and irregularities. Thus, database systems are developed to electronically keep and manage data being processed by the company. This provides the company’s potential for producing more accurate and timely information for operating, controlling, and planning purposes. The performance of every employee greatly affects the output quality of work.

Like in the company that needs technological advancements to help improve the functionality and security of data being processed and its affects the output quality of work. Our country also needs technological advancements to ensure security towards a clean and honest election.

When we talk about automated first come into our main is from the word itself “automated” it is to convert a process or workplace to automation, or utilize the techniques of automation. It is the use of technology that governs the people to do their task and greatly affects the output quality of work like in the company because automated is fast and gives accurate data than manual election. Manual election takes time and months to declare a winner but in case of automated it takes hours to declare a winner and it save time and effort.

In this matter the Total Information Management Corp.'s (TIM) joint venture with Smartmatic to supply Commission on Elections (COMELEC) an automated machines to use these coming 2010 Philippine Elections.

The Smartmatic Auditable Election System (SAES) is a fully-automated, electronic voting system that is completely secure, reliable and auditable. The powerful combination of robust hardware, secure software and highly qualified personnel enables the SAES system to guarantee elections that voters can trust, in any part of the world. From its voting machines that feature a variety of vote input devices, customizable interfaces and printed voter receipts, to its secure data transmission networks, high-end tallying servers, immediate results tabulation and fully auditable paper trail, the SAES technological platform is the only end-to–end system available that ensures democracy rules, cost effectively.

Benefits of Automated Election

1.)Security. You will be secure in every transaction you made in automated election. The machines have its standard-based security algorithms. The voters won’t have to worry about election tampering.
2.)Immediacy. There is the quickness of action or occurrence in voting. Also voting machines allow voters to cast their choice more quickly, they allow the results to be known just minutes after the last polling place has closed.
3.)Veracity. You will be assured that the system is unwillingly to tell lie to tell the exact votes of the candidates. It also invites public trust and establishes the credibility of the election.
4.)Economy. This type of machine will require greatly reduced human and economic resources. In addition, a thousand tons of paper can be saved because the need to print anything is eliminated almost entirely. For short it reduces the cost.
5.)Auditing. It is a machine that examine carefully for accuracy with the intent of verification. It is also designed to make this a simple procedure, creating what we believe is the most transparent automated-voting process available in the world.
6.)Flexibility. The machine will easily persuade and has been designed to make configuration for different tallying methods easy. Whether we use D’Hondt, simple majority, relative majority or other counting methods, you won’t incur costly reprogramming fees.
7.)Accessibility. From the word itself “accessible” it is an act of the attribute of being easy to meet or deal with. So in terms of voting machines the buttons have specific shapes and colors, sip-and-puff devices and special earphones. These are some features our machines possess in order to guarantee equality and independence for all voters.
8.)Versatility. The machines have a wide variety of skill and feature to secure your votes. It recognizes the value of innovations that contribute to security so we engineered SAES in a way that lets it integrate readily with civil registration and voter identification systems so that it easier to build on the security platform you already have in place.
9.)Autonomy. In those cases where an electoral agency requires operational control, Smartmatic provides licensing solutions. Structured as a turnkey agreement or ready to use upon delivery with ongoing support, the technology transfer can be achieved in the mid- to long- term, after training has been completed.http://www.smartmatic.com/solutions/automated-electionsystem/single-view/article/the-new-standard-of-modern-democracy/

All the nine features of Smartmatic Auditable Election System (SAES) ensure a credible modulation of power and have clean, honest and orderly 2010 Philippine elections. With this automated election irregularities such as vote-buying, cheating in the counting of votes, flying voters and harassment of voters that happen last few national election campaign periods will be avoided.

In fact, the country’s first trial of automated elections, which took place in the August 2008 elections for officials of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), was very successful from the voters’ points of view, according to a post-election survey in ARMM by Social Weather Stations (SWS). http://opinion.inquirer.net/inquireropinion/columns/view/20090314-194090/ARMM-voters-liked-their-automated-elections

"Setting up the country's automated electoral system is a crucial step toward clean and honest elections. While it will not be a cure-all for the country's electoral problems, automating the polls will eliminate a lot of the human intervention that has made vote-rigging possible." said Angara who authored the automated election law.

"The heart of a true democracy lies in achieving clean and honest elections which provide mandate and authority to elect public officials. Our laws mandate the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) to use an automated election system in the conduct of national and local elections to encourage transparency, credibility, fairness and accuracy of elections," said Angara.http://www.senate.gov.ph/press_release/2009/0702_angara1.asp

Therefore being an Information Technology student and a citizen in our country our main concern is to have an honest and clean election this coming 2010. This automated election ensure us the security of our votes that will facilitate a fair and honest elections and provides us an unquestionable new set of government leaders that will unite the country in facing the challenges ahead of us.


mY blog:
http://jevaldez.blogspot.com/2009/07/assignment-3-in-mis.html


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ailaine adaptar



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PostSubject: Your thoughts on automated elections with reference to the current situation   Wed Jul 08, 2009 4:09 pm




Question Question Question Question Question Question

<===== study Comelec assures automated polls. study =====>


After a long process of bidding that the Commission on Elections had gone through, it finally awarded the poll automation contract to Smartmatic and Total Information Management - the only bidder to pass the evaluation. This will ensure that the 2010 national and local elections will be computerized. The Comelec resolves to approve report of Special Bids and Awards Committee confirming Total Information Management-Smartmatic as bidder with lowest calculated bid and award contract to them for the automation of elections on May 10, 2010. <Election Watch>

However, the Despite the rumors about the cancellation of the 2010 Presidential Election, Commissioner Rene Sarmiento said that the election will push through next year as the poll body is not bothered at all by to amend the 1987 Constitution and rumors about a "no- election" scenario. But the issue at this point is that if the 2010 election be automated.

The Comelec official said he was hoping there will be no more obstacles to the implementation of the P7.2- billion poll automation project following the reconciliation of Smartmatic International and its partner Total Information Management Corporation (TIMC).<Manila Bulletin, vol. 439 No. 08 Wednesday, July 08, 2009>


<===== study Human intervention. study =====>


The Commission on Elections (Comelec) is confident to say that technology won’t be the main cause of 2010 automation failure, but “human intervention” will. Yes, it's true. I believe that if failure will still occurr, it would not be merely because of the machines but because of those people with terrible intentions to cheat in some ways. There are doubts about poll automation. People fear that during the transmission of voting results from precincts to Comelec, problems like sabotaging transmission networks or cellsites might take place. “The laws of probability will apply here. If there will be machines that will be sabotaged or ballots snatched, I think of the 80,000 machines, not all will fail—probably less than or about a hundred but not all,” said Comelec chairman Jose Melo.
<Election Watch>


<===== study My encounter. study =====>


During our seminar in COMDDAP last July 2, 2009, an American facilitator from the Microsoft Corporation site some issues and facts that must be consider in pursuing the automated election this coming 2010. First, he stated two options regarding the type of source codes that is to be used in the creation of the election-program-software.. whether we may use open sourcee or proprietary software.

Furthermore, in a technical point of view, he point out that we must also consider the situation of the programmers who are tasked to do the program of the said automated election. That includes the security of the programmers himself and to their family. This is not just for the concern of the programmer but also for the credibility of the end product. The outer interferences, connections and political issues (political manipulations) must be avoided. In a dirt politics, consider the fact that the ones making such program are candidates to threat (that is unavoidable). The above views are just some of the many factors that must be consider in using the automated poll election this coming 2010. But, in spite of that complex part, I do not oppose the automated elections. :-)


<===== study Poll computerization technologies review. study =====>


1. Optical Mark Reader (OMR)

An optical reader is a device found within most computer scanners that captures visual information and translates the image into digital information the computer is capable of understanding and displaying. An example of optical readers are marksense systems for elections where voters mark their choice by filling a rectangle, circle or oval, or by completing an arrow. After the voting a tabulating device reads the votes using "dark mark logic", whereby the computer selects the darkest mark within a given set as the correct choice or vote. <wikipedia>

2. Direct Recording Electronic (DRE)

The most recent configuration in the evolution of voting systems are known as direct recording electronic, or DRE’s. They are an electronic implementation of the old mechanical lever systems. As with the lever machines, there is no ballot; the possible choices are visible to the voter on the front of the machine. The voter directly enters choices into electronic storage with the use of a touch-screen, push-buttons, or similar device. An alphabetic keyboard is often provided with the entry device to allow for the possibility of write-in votes. The voter’s choices are stored in these machines via a memory cartridge, diskette or smart-card and added to the choices of all other voters. <fec government>

There are many other poll computerization technologies available in the market that are not mentioned above..but, on the contrary, there are also many factors that one should consider in using any of these technologies.


lol! mah blog lol!


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joverly gonzales



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PostSubject: assignment #3   Wed Jul 08, 2009 6:03 pm

ELECTION ON 2010


VS


This up-coming election 2010 has new system implemented. For the past years, we manually voted and also counted our votes manually. Maybe this kind of system has much risk. There are more chances that the Officials can cheat the country. So, in this situation, our government has a program to convert manual election into automated election.
“In the automated system, where both voting and canvass is done through a printed ballot fed into a machine, voters will need to shade an oval space beside the printed names of each of the candidates of each of these positions. So the ballot will contain some 300 names of persons or parties”, said the editorial of website Technograph of the Philippines.

THE COMMISSION on Elections (Comelec) en banc was bid and awarded the election automation contract to Total Information Management (TIM)/Smartmatic. Smartmatic was one of the service providers of the more expensive direct recording electronic system, or touch-screen technology, for the ARMM elections. TIM/Smartmatic was the only bidder left after six others were disqualified by the special bids and awards committee for failing to provide some documents. The bidding, which began over a month ago, originally had seven bidders. Smartmatic provided all documents and was the only company to demonstrate precinct count optical scan machines. The company is based in the United States but has offices in Venezuela, Spain, Taiwan and the Philippines. And the bidding of Smartmatic was P7.2 billion for 82,000 machines covering nation wide.

The calls came at the time TIM was stalling in signing the incorporation papers for the registration of its joint venture partnership with Barbados-based Smartmatic with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), told Technograph Technology in the Philippines in one of there website.

But is the Philippines ready for an Automated Election System (AES)? There are some comments about it. There are some facts in Automated Election (AES) especially in Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).
• 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.
• On a national level, one in 10 Filipinos can not read and write, according to the survey.
• 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.
“We are ready. There will be full automation nationwide,” Melo said at a press briefing Thursday after the Senate passed the House-approved P11.3-billion supplemental budget for the automation of the elections on May 10, 2010.
But weeks ago, there is shocking news about this Automated Election system. Total Information Management Corp. (TIM) has pulled out of its partnership with Smartmatic Corp., putting the P11.3-billion poll automation project next year in jeopardy.
“Mr. Jose Antunez (President of TIM) came to my office and told me they are withdrawing from the project citing their irreconcilable differences (with Smartmatic)," Elections Chairman Jose Melo told reporters on different news, without mentioning the nature of the feud. But word has leaked that the breakup was caused by corporate issues between Smartmatic and TIM ranging from the chairmanship of the board to funding disputes.
Earlier in the day, Melo suspended the contract negotiations with Smartmatic-TIM due to its failure to submit its joint venture incorporation papers. With the Smartmatic-TIM breakup, Melo said this will leave the Comelec with the following options:

1. A second bidding
2. A negotiated contract
3. Partial automation
4. Revert to manual elections

Cesar Flores, Smartmatic’s international sales director and spokesman, blamed their partner TIM for the delay, saying Smartmatic officers signed the incorporation registration papers last week. Sinse according to the law, the Netherlands-based firm Smartmatic cannot operate without a local joint venture partner, TIM in this case.

A visibly upset Melo said the Comelec is set to look into the names behind TIM to see if these people may have been influenced by groups who are against automated elections.

Melo said that though they have enough time to prepare for manual voting and counting, the main goal of eradicating poll fraud will be difficult to achieve if the elections are not automated.

For joint venture partnerships, the law allows foreigners to bid for projects provided they have local partners representing 60 per cent of the project.

The bidding rules also prohibit Smartmatic from getting a replacement local partner to push through with the P11.3 billion poll automation.

The poll chief said it is frustrating to know that TIM is seemingly putting “personal interests" ahead of a matter of national importance.

Comelec director Ferdinand Rafanan, head of the Special Bids and Awards Committee, said TIM could be charged criminally, civil and administratively.

He added that they are similarly forfeiting the P350 million performance security bond posted by TIM and the group will also be barred for one year from joining any bidding of the Comelec.
- With a report from Amita Legaspi, GMANews.TV

Machine vulnerability
Poll automation feeds the wrong impression to the public that elections will be clean and credible. Because it is a machine, it is powerless against any fraud that takes place before, during, and after the elections. And, because it is just a machine, it is vulnerable to human intervention such as software attack, glitches, and other technical problems that could result in wholesale electronic cheating. (See www.cenpeg.org for papers and powerpoints on election automation.) The high stakes in the 2010 elections, including choosing a new president, administration attempts to make sure that the next president is friendly to Gloria M. Arroyo, as well as the 17,000 national and local seats up for grabs by some 90,000 candidates will make fraud machineries sabotage the whole electoral process using both the traditional and modern technology.
Given the expected operations of fraud machineries in the coming elections, one way by which the present Comelec can at least minimize cheating is to make poll automation open, transparent, credible, and participatory. It does not make sense that the poll body has chosen the OMR which makes counting and canvassing of votes invisible to the eye with Comelec perhaps hoping that the poll officials, machines, vendors, software developers, electronic transmission systems, and other technical services can be trusted.

References:
http://www.pinoypress.net/
http://www.smartmatic.com/
http://www.technogra.ph/
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Alfredo V. Ala-an



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PostSubject: ASSIGNMENT 3   Wed Jul 08, 2009 7:00 pm

Thoughts about the automated election…
Terms to identify:
Electronic Voting System-
Electronic voting (also known as e-voting) is a term encompassing several different types of voting, embracing both electronic means of casting a vote and electronic means of counting votes.
Electronic voting technology can include punch cards, optical scan voting systems and specialized voting kiosks (including self-contained Direct-recording electronic (DRE) voting systems). It can also involve transmission of ballots and votes via telephones, private computer networks, or the Internet.
Electronic voting technology can speed the counting of ballots and can provide improved accessibility for disabled voters. However, there has been contention, especially in the United States, that electronic voting, especially DRE voting, could facilitate electoral fraud.
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electronic_voting
Electronic Voting Machines-
Voting machines are the total combination of mechanical, electromechanical, or electronic equipment (including software, firmware, and documentation required to program control, and support equipment), that is used to define ballots; to cast and count votes; to report or display election results; and to maintain and produce any audit trail information. The first voting machines were mechanical but it is increasingly more common to use electronic voting machines.
A voting system includes the practices and associated documentation used to identify system components and versions of such components; to test the system during its development and maintenance; to maintain records of system errors or defects; to determine specific changes made after initial certification; and to make available any materials to the voter (such as notices, instructions, forms, or paper ballots).
Traditionally, a voting machine has been defined by the mechanism the system uses to cast votes and further categorized by the location where the system tabulates the votes.
Voting machines have different usability, security, efficiency and accuracy. Certain systems may be more or less accessible to all voters, or not accessible to those voters with certain types of disabilities. They can also have an effect on the public's ability to oversee elections.
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voting_machine
Result in Automated Election:
-Sahi’s voting solution delivers first ever automated election in Philippines (ARMM)
Manila, Philippines, August 13, 2008 – In the wake of the first automated election in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), Smartmatic-SAHI today announced that its voting solution, the Smartmatic Automated Election System (SAES), performed with complete reliability and accuracy. During the election, the SAES machines transmitted accurately, rapidly and reliably, and after the polls closed, the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) certified the results, which was accepted by the representatives of the different political parties.
“This was a first ever of its kind election in many ways for the ARMM, and the fact that we had record voter turnout, results were accepted by all parties, and it is all fully auditable, at Smartmatic-SAHI, we believe this could not have been possible without our trusted voting solution,” said Antonio Mugica, Chief Executive Officer, Smartmatic.
In the closely monitored election, voters elected Zaldy Ampatuan as the Governor of the province. Key electoral statistics include:
Voter turn out in Maguindanao: 93.48%
Overall Voter turn out: 84%
Automated precincts: 5170
Electronic Voting machines used: 2,558
Transmitted Voters: 1,528,839
Time to Cast Vote: Less than 30 seconds
Electronic Voting Machine Support Technicians: 533
SAES -- Simpler + Faster automated voting system
The voters in the province of Maguindanao used Smartmatic-SAHI’s automated voting solution, which was able to reduce the time needed to cast and transmit votes. In particular, to streamline the process for citizens with limited literacy, photographs of the three gubernatorial candidates appeared on the screen, and voters merely had to touch the candidate of their choice to cast a ballot – allowing many to cast their vote in under 30 seconds.
To provide the highest level of security, the SAES system randomly stores and encrypts votes in seven different places, guaranteeing 100% security and auditability of the voting process. In addition, all Smartmatic-SAHI voting systems are equipped with a voter verified paper trail (VVPT) printed on security-enhanced paper as soon as each vote is cast. This ballot “receipt” shows the vote the machine has just recorded and allows the voter to verify that their vote was recorded correctly. It also serves as a physical backup in the event of an audit.
And to simplify the voting process for authorities, Smartatic-SAHI’s systems are “ready to go” voting solutions. Preconfigured for each precinct, they require no set-up and only needed to be transported to the appropriate locations. Moreover, since the systems are fully automated they do not require any human interaction to summarize votes – reducing errors and tampering. And equally important, they are a cost-effective solution – removing the need for expensive paper ballots.
In contrast, citizens in the other 5 provinces (Shariff Kabunsuan, Lanao del Sur, Basilan, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi) voted on paper ballots, or Optical Mark Reader (OMR). This multi-step process is done by filling in an oval next to the candidate’s name, and subsequently, all the ballots are scanned and tallied by a counting machine.
The OMR systems were provided by Avante.
“The election results showed that Smartmatic-SAHI’s automated voting machines, as opposed to paper ballots, allow for both voters to cast votes in up to half the time and results to transmitted quickly. But most important, our technology is 100% tamper proof and delivers the ultimate election security,” said Mugica.
To ensure a smooth and seamless election, all of SAES voting solutions were equipped with back-up battery packs that last up to 16 hours, as power outages are common in the remote region. In addition, Smartmatic-SAHI’s employed 255 network technicians to support the polling centers in Maguindanao and an additional 40 technicians to serve as mobile teams to support canvassing centers as needed.
Source: http://www.smartmatic.com/pressroom/article/article/smartmatic-sahis-voting-solution-delivers-first-ever-automated-election-in-philippines-autonomous-r/
My thoughts and opinions
Thinking of these issues about the automated elections is a very big responsibility to one of us. Giving thoughts and opinions can help the people to understand and decide which is good to do to our election process here in the Philippines.
In my own opinion, these automated elections have advantages that may be the key to the very poor election process here in the Philippines. One of its advantages is the fast process of election. Another is less error. Less error because using the computers it can give more accurate results that the people can do but not it has less percentage.
As mentioned above, the result of the automated election in the region of ARMM was fast. Giving some statistic shows that it really has the power and advantage to change the process of election in the Philippines. The thoughts and opinions of everyone in the result of election of the ARMM some were good and some were confusing. Good because of the speedy process and bad because others think it was cheated because again of the speedy process of it.
I can say that these voting machines can really be cheated in the way that people are the one who make it and manage it. Also, I conclude that it give advantage to us. But thinking of those issues was not the main issue. The main issue for me is the principles of everyone that make these happen. If you want a true election it should begin I yourself. To be honest is the key.

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brian c. namuag



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PostSubject: Automated Elections In Philippines   Wed Jul 08, 2009 9:21 pm

The Philippine First Automated Elections


Let us first define what is Automated Elections? There is no particular definition on automated election. However to give an overview Automated election is conducted through computers where people cast their vote on machines instead of paper ballots. The counting of votes is fast and the results are announced within a short period of time.

But every turning of points to an end has always questions to answer with. Are Philippines ready for the first automated elections? How will Election Automation affect the Philippines? Turns out any successful implementation have effects beyond the political arena, as pointed by any who wants to remain anonymous. We’ve gone many trials and success to every endeavor we made and I believe that our country Philippines have reached to its technological level. Yes, we are now adopting this high technology in voting. In addition to that we Filipinos have these skeptical feelings about the upcoming elections. Why is this so? Maybe, because we are afraid to come up with unsatisfied output. We don’t have any knowledge about this computerized election but do we really have to argue about pursuing or not pursuing this first automated election in the Philippines? I guess we have to discuss and analyze first the cons and pros of implementing this newly form of election.

Whether the Philippines implement an automated election is not the point in question. Automation of the election process in the Philippines is simply a way to show that we have upgraded our gears. The question is, “Have we changed our culture in politics?” Well, this time, the ballots are not the things to be protected but voting machines in the automated election.
Philippine election officials can learn how to run automated elections properly. Primarily by designing election machines that make sense to the average Filipino voter, and relying on the results of sustained testing for any necessary revisions to the system.

Malacañang Palace assume that people behind every controversy between Total Information Management (TIM) and Smartmatic would give a valid reason on making such irrelevance act on not pursuing the agreement in the incoming first automated election. This steps made by Malacañang when TIM negotiate with Smartmatic and fully quit the agreement made by two bidders in the past weeks. According to Presidential adviser on Political Affairs Gabriel Claudio, they mark that every person involves in the said controversy will surely face the consequence and answers all the questions why they change their mind about the negotiation. Who will benefit when 2010 poll automation canceled? It would give a big chance and happiness for those people who really want to steal in every election. If the government would really want to pursue a peace, organize and easy election, then poll automation should bounce back and implemented. But the problem is, cheating would mostly happen for those personnel and officials whom handling the power.

The past “Hello Garci” issue would remain from time to time if we would not make a move on how to kill this rat election. It would still happen again in different and more crucial ways if this unprogressive election would be implemented again. Well, bias politician pray that poll automation would be cancelled, so that they can do what they did in the past election. But who knows are we really confident on poll automation? It doesn’t mean that if Total Information Management (TIM) back out as a local partner of Smartmatic, computerize election would be canceled. However, officials involve in Commission on Election said that it’s a matter of time upon preparing the computerize election this 2010. Months, days and even years, they already plan this poll automation on election. Funds and Budgets are indeed ready already, in the past months they all settled it for the preparation of the incoming election together with the said companies, but unfortunately TIM decided not to continue the negotiation last weeks for the reason that they feel soar grapping. Officials and even normal citizen worry about the election for they are thinking that we have to use back the lection which we used to be. Counting of votes are they pointing why bias election appeared. Why not looking for other companies where in fact theres a lot of available companies that they could negotiate which fit on supplying machines and computers in the public?

Sour grapping that’s how the chair of the Commission on Elections, Jose Melo, described the Senate probe into the winning bidder to automate the 2010 elections. These bidders, Melo noted, have sent letters to the commission raising doubts on the bidding process, the ownership of Smartmatic, its eligibility and the capability of the voting machines. He challenged the losing bidders to file a formal suit with the commission. Under the contract, bidders who want to appeal must deposit a bond of P112m. to the Comelec which amounts to 1 percent of the projects price of P11.2b. Malacañang is unfaced by doubts senators have raised over the credibility and ability of a Barbados. Based consortium to conduct the first fully automated national and local elections in the Philippines next year. Well they believe that 11 months away from the elections they are confident that the comelec will be able to handle the situation. And luckily after a long debate these winning bidders finally accept the memorandum of agreements and still the companies to provide the computerize machines which will be used in the upcoming 2010 first automated elections in the Philippines.

After the withdrawal of Total Information Management (TIM) from its join venture Smartmatic to supply the needs in upcoming elections, senate makes a move to settle everything and their differences and put national concern first before anything else. And at last the congress fully settle the miscommunication between the two bidders which the fruit and source of the Automated Elections in the Philippines. Senators are working to make things possible and take any risk just to put things in a formal way. Press release that we don’t have to take this manual election which cause delayed of announcing winners. We don’t have to wait weeks and days for the results to come out. I wish that the automated elections will happen because that will surely help us. Learning innovations about the standard election would greatly give a confident to every voters, but having this first automated election in the country would also give an advantages and disadvantages to everyone. But we have to take risk for we take the chance. Not only for our own profit but to our "kababayan" also.


Source: Sunstar Davao


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creza_jill_bulacito



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PostSubject: Automated Election   Wed Jul 08, 2009 10:39 pm

Automated Election in the Philippines



Philippine Politics was always a bloody situation especially during election time. Politicians do everything just to assure they win and secure the positions they want. Cheating was always a part in politics, some kill and some pay high amount of money just to win. That is why our government is trying to make a move for a change especially that Philippine election still uses the traditional way of voting and counting. In our modern lives we are now depending in technology which is rapidly growing and very useful in our daily lives. Now, our government implements the Automated Election Bill which is to be done this coming national election on 2011. After almost a year of deliberations, marked with bitter and long debates, the Senate approved the Automated Election Bill.
Automated Election is a big step for our country to improve our ways on election voting. “This is a great leap forward for our country. This about making sure that every vote of every Filipino is counted, and counted properly. This about giving the future of the Philippines back to its own people,” Senator Gordon said. On traditional way of voting there are a lot of ways of cheating. People in power or with lots of money could buy support from local leaders or directly from voters. In the old days of guns and goons, voters were either coerced to vote for certain candidates or scared away and their ballots used, also Ballot box stuffing or ballot substitution. Then there is Misreading and Miscounting of votes during precinct count. There is also Substitution of election returns. There is also a happening of Substitution of ballot box and ER on the way to the municipality, Fraud in the computation of the municipal COC. All of this was the scenario during elections in Philippines especially on remote areas which are far to update with the government. The senate committee made a move on constitutional amendments, revision of codes and laws by recommending the passage of a consolidated bill authorizing the use of an automated election system.
Under the proposed automated election law, the election returns and certificates of canvass transmitted electronically and digitally signed shall be considered as official election results and used as basis for the proclamation of a candidate. Moreover, the machines should be capable of being used in any precinct in the country and produce accurate reports. For this purpose, the measure will require at least one of the three regular members of the board of election inspectors in every precinct to be an information technology-capable person, who is trained and certified to use Automated Election System. To allow flexibility in the use of new and emerging technologies, the bill defined Automated Election System as a system using appropriate technology for voting, counting, consolidating, canvassing, transmission of election results, and other processes in the conduct of electoral exercises. In technical terms, the consolidated measure envisions user-friendly machines with sufficient security features against tampering and can read the ballot automatically and fast. Using an honest automated election system it would prevent the substitution of Election Returns with previously prepared faked Election Returns. Technology is such an advantage to improve our country in terms of processing important data such as the voters profile and vote count. THE COMMISSION on Elections (COMELEC) en banc, through a resolution, has awarded the election automation contract to Total Information Management (TIM)/Smartmatic, finally ending speculation that next year’s polls would again be held via the fraud-prone manual method.

In an interview with reporters, COMELEC Chairman Jose A. R. Melo yesterday said: "After this resolution, the special bids and awards committee will give the company the notice of awarding and then they can start manufacturing the machines.” He said the COMELEC advisory council was concerned over the program’s source code "so we will ask SmartMatic to provide the source code. If they do not want to we will not agree." A source code is a set of readable text that allows computer programmers to "communicate" with software. It also determines whether the system is prone to hacking. Mr. Melo noted the company provided the source code for machines in last year’s Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) elections. Smartmatic was one of the service providers of the more expensive direct recording electronic system, or touch-screen technology, for the ARMM elections. The poll body would also be requiring Smartmatic to post a performance bond worth around P35 million or at least 5% of its proposed automation budget. TIM/Smartmatic was the only bidder left after six others were disqualified by the special bids and awards committee for failing to provide some documents. The bidding, which began over a month ago, originally had seven bidders. Smartmatic provided all documents and was the only company to demonstrate precinct count optical scan machines. The company is based in the United States but has offices in Venezuela, Spain, Taiwan and the Philippines. Smartmatic’s bid was P7.2 billion for 82,000 machines covering 80 precincts nationwide — reduced from 200,000 due to the "clustering" of precincts — that would service about 45 million voters as of last count during the 2007 midterm elections. The company promised to provide results in 36 to 48 hours. Mr. Melo said Comelec may "publish the bids of those who reached the financial stage like Smartmatic and Indra (Sistemas Consortium) for transparency’s sake." The Senators are very optimistic that the Philippines will conduct full automation of the local and national elections, believing that it is imperative in order to respond to the crying need of the people: credibility of elections and legitimacy of leadership. The automated election must be implemented in order to make a move with an honest, reliable, fast election process.



http://www.senate.gov.ph/press_release/2009/0605_angara1.asp
http://bayan-natin.blogspot.com/2009/06/philippines-2010-automated-election.html
http://www.manilastandardtoday.com/?page=politics03_mar18_2006
http://business.inquirer.net/money/columns/view/20090315-194313/Automated-election-can-be-used-to-cheat




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charmaine_dayanan



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PostSubject: Automated Electoral System: my insights, my thoughts...   Wed Jul 08, 2009 10:49 pm

My grateful appreciation to the following sources which provided me the facts I needed to construct this reflection...
References:
Kristine L. Alave, Michael Lim Ubac, "All go for automated elections in 2010 ", Phil. Daily Inquirer - Inquirer.net
[http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/inquirerheadlines/nation/view/20090306-192592/All-go-for-automated-elections-in-2010]
Shiela Crisostomo, "Smartmatic partner pulls out; Comelec eyes its own tie-up", PhilStar.com
[Smartmatic partner pulls out; Comelec eyes its own tie-up ]
Manuel A. Alcuaz Jr., "Automated election fraud ",Philippine Daily Inquirer
[http://business.inquirer.net/money/columns/view/20090706-214009/Automated-election-fraud]
Aurea Calica, "Senators see danger in 2010 automated polls ", PhilStar.com
[http://www.philstar.com/Article.aspx?articleId=481760]


With the height of technology we have in the world today, chances of automation of various manual systems we use in the old centuries becomes extremely bigger. In the case of third-world countries like the Philippines, maybe not all systems have been computerized, or less. The Electoral process is just a concrete example.

Other nations have been developing, testing, and using automated elections for the past years. And we have our century-old manual system of counting votes. As years passed, it has been observed that troubles caused by election frauds are getting more frequent and the situation worsens through time. This may be due to delays in counting and canvassing that tends to become prone to schemes of deceitful people who have their intention of manipulating votes in favor of their chosen candidate(s). The longer the time it takes the votes to be counted, the more exposed the ballot boxes are, the chances of fraud becomes fatter.

To address this kind of problem, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) decided to go on a computerized election process this coming May 2010 Election. Duly supported by majority of the Senate leaders, with the House Bill 5715 (Automated Electoral System Act) being passed by the Congress and was signed by the President, the P11.3 billion supplemental budget is now being allocated. (All go for automated elections in 2010, Inquirer.net) Comelec had already the winning bidder, Smartmatic, a foreign company, in partnership with Total Information Management Inc., for the machines that will be used for the elections. Although there were some Senate leaders who are not in favor of the automation and few lawmakers and IT professionals who are skeptic, they are pursuing the automated election system.

As an IT student, I see an opportunity for technological advancement of our country in this issue. This is a chance of breaking out to the old system of manual counting of votes to a computerized operation. Here we can truly realize the advantages and benefits of computers and we can fulfill the solutions offered by modernization. Such is a stepping stone to future advancements in our country and the people. Considering that the election is a critical system, the use and application of technology, I should say, should be implemented long ago.

Several solutions that this Automated Electoral System (AES) bring focus primarily on the speed of canvassing and counting votes. Since the machine will automatically count after the voter inputs his ballots, the time it takes for the results of the votes to yield is much faster making it less prone to possible frauds along the canvassing state. The cheaters who are not that knowledgeable in computer will realize that they can no longer use their old tricks. Also the possibility of misreading and manual tampering of Election Returns (ERs) and Certificates of Canvas (COCs) will be lessened. (Automated Election Fraud, Manuel Alcuaz Jr., Phil. Daily Inquirer). Programmers and developers and IT professionals would be highly recognized in this mission-critical situation.

However, as I read about the articles in the net, I found several chances of electoral fraud as noticed by some concerned individuals. Yes, the possible deceptions of controlling the results will be prevented as the time is narrowed down. But it does not necessarily mean that there will be no faults. In fact, <state the author of the source and the statements> the probability of electoral frauds is much higher compared to the manual system.

It is been described that in the election process, the voting is done manually and the counting will be automated. So in other words, it is not FULL-automated elections contrary to what the Comelec Chair Jose Melo stated that we will be having a full-automation this coming election. The Precinct Counting Optical Scan (PCOS) will be used in the automation. PCOS is a ballot-based system in which the voter will mark his choices on a specially printed ballot that features security markings. The ballot will then be fed into a scanner, which records and stores the votes. (All go for automated elections 2010, Inquirer.net).

In the old manual system, the hard copy of the precinct ERs were brought to the municipality to be read and entered in the statement of votes, which was visible to watchers. Watchers could compare the statement of votes with their own copies of the ER. Before the ER was read and added to the statement of votes, the authenticity of the ER was first verified.

In this measure, only the person who is in charge of the operation of the machine knows the real score of what was really going on. Whereas, the previous manual system in which the board of election inspectors writes ‘sticks’ corresponding to every single vote offers a good view of the ongoing tally for the watchers and the people in the precinct levels to see. Thus, transparency is lost. Voters will not know if there is fraud taking place.

The automated system uses the Internet making it connected to the official election monitoring parties online. As we are aware of it, Internet has all the ways – be it good, or evil. This offers a vast opportunity for a third party to interfere with the automation process. And there is similar probability that this person will be able to ‘twist’ the truth by accessing the system. Likewise, the monitoring parties will only be able to monitor the canvassing or the ongoing process through online. This means that they rely on the actual counting of votes that the system does, and perhaps not doing their own canvassing independent of the results of the automation tally.

[more on my succeeding post...]


Last edited by charmaine_dayanan on Wed Jul 08, 2009 11:03 pm; edited 2 times in total
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charmaine_dayanan



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PostSubject: Automated Electoral System: my insights, my thoughts...part 2   Wed Jul 08, 2009 10:52 pm

a continuation...

OMR machines are used in schools for scoring tests and in survey companies for tabulating survey results.Members of the administrative staff in schools and survey companies do not change the source code. They provide a scoring or tabulating table to modify how the OMR machine scores a test or tabulates a survey.By changing this table, fraud is easily committed. In order to cheat on the OMR counting machines, all that is needed is to download a new counting table that changes for whom a shaded circle is counted.In areas where the candidates that want to cheat are weak, the table can be modified so that votes will be switched.. How would the counting tables be switched? Since the OMR machines are connected to the Internet, it is possible for an outside party, in connivance with Comelec or system vendor people, to enable an unseen computer to load the fraudulent table. At the end of counting, the original table can be reloaded so that any tests would indicate that the machines are counting correctly and honestly. It could also be possible for someone that seems to be authorized to quickly insert a USB memory stick that would load the fraudulent table.

Having experienced a lot of times about the uses of a memory stick and the Internet, I could say that the above probabilities is not hard to do. Even I, a non-Election Inspector could have the skill to manipulate the system if the complexity of the automation system does not have a strong error-checking or security.

I could see that if there would be no high security in terms of safeguarding our votes, the essence of the Automated Electoral System will not be fully appreciated. It will instead create a massive fraud since there are many weak spots noticed.

Issue of the Smartmatic-TIM

I’ve learned that Filipino-owned Total Information Management (TIM) withdrew its joint venture with partner Netherlands-based Smartmatic Corp., the winning bidder of the poll automation supplies. The Comelec and the Smartmatic people themselves did not expect for this since it was a fairly good negotiation with the contract. But according to TIM, the reason is due to some irreconcilable differences.

I don’t really understand why TIM pulled out of the contract signing all of a sudden after all the joint venture agreement TIM and the Smartmatic had during the bidding process. If ‘irreconcilable differences’ are their grounds, I don’t believe it’s reasonable enough to back out. I have a feeling something’s going on behind. Moreover, Smartmatic alone cannot continue with them only signing the contract. For it is not allowed that a foreign company does not have a Filipino partner to do business inside the country.

So what will happen now in the planned full automation process this coming election?! Furthermore, I guess it was also better that, problems such that arises in the present, than meeting it on along the way almost near to the Election Day itself.

Reflection on the IT aspect

When I heard the expression of the Edupro Inc. president of the Nexus Technologies Group during one of the Tech Update Sessions of the recent COMDDAP 2009 Expo I’ve attended, I realized how great is the call of responsibility of an IT professional to his customer is.

When he challenged the speaker of the Open Source for Business Applications session on what’s his stand towards whether to use proprietary softwares for mission-critical events like the Automated Elections, or use open source developed applications. Having the situation we have right now – the pulling out of the TIM with its Smartmatic partner – the possibility of implementing a full automation is threatening to slim down. Rumors say, we could have the option of letting our local software developers help configure the automation system. In the case of proprietary software, we could utilize the programs/system developed by foreign countries that may have used similar automated electoral system and test it in our process. On the other hand, we could choose to have the open source developed applications, use it, let the system be developed by local software specialists, validated by foreign companies, then, after the election, it could have the chance of offering it to other countries where it can be improved.

The situation is just synonymous to a person typing in a text editor. “If you type in Word, would you spend almost 4,000 plus to buy MS suite or would you just download it from the net? I suggest you download it from the net,” the president of the Edupro stated. What I’ve learned from what he said is that, the options call for the needs. If you work for an enterprise, and there are such big factors like security and reliability, you go for proprietary. The decision of the developer should focus on the client’s needs where there are several factors to be considered. These are the liabilities of the programmer. In the case of proprietary, say for example there is a failure in using the system, chances are the corporation who developed the software will be blamed.

Now in connection to the automated elections 2010, the considerations focus on 10 to 20 hired developers who will build up the system. Say for example, if you hire them for 6 months or so, will you lock them in and hide them inside a workroom where they can’t be seen by the media so they would not be embarrassed and pressured by the press if their developed system is a failure? Will you feed their families for 6 months since they’re away from home? Will you provide security for their loved ones knowing there may be some politicians who might influence them and insist demands? These are just some of the risks of doing it locally.

The gentleman concluded his sharing in an message that says “Nothing is free. In some point in time, you will pay for it. You may have to pay for it.”

Relating it to the ultimate question of whether to use proprietary or open source development software this coming automated elections, I don’t really know my stand. One thing’s for sure, I will see to it that my user’s needs are gratified, and I will not make anything that might harm my self, my client, and the others. I hope this is the same thinking that the officials will have as they prepare for our country’s Automated Elections.


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Gabrielle Anne Rae Deseo



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PostSubject: Re: Assignment 3 (Due: July 09, 2009, before 01:00pm)   Thu Jul 09, 2009 12:21 am

Automated or Manual Poll??


Today in the technological world everything is changing or should I say developing. New gadgets and technologies are being introduced and all. That is IT, discovering, producing and developing new technologies. The issue now is, should the 2010 Philippine national election be automated or still manual.

What is automated voting?
I got this definition from Carter center.

“Automated voting (sometimes referred to as electronic or e-voting) technologies are increasingly used in elections across the world, particularly because they are often seen as symbolic of a country’s level of modernization. The possibilities for rapid aggregation and analysis of results, as well as potentially greater accuracy, have all added to the attractiveness of computer-based voting equipment. There is little doubt that the ability to quickly publish results can be of particular advantage in conflict and post-conflict scenarios, where a prolonged period of counting can heighten tensions and reduce confidence in the final results. The potential to remove some traditional elements of unintentional voter error or intentional fraud can also contribute to greater confidence, while at the same time raising new questions.”
http://www.cartercenter.org/documents/nondatabase/automatedsummary.pdf

Automation of the election process has been an issue in the Philippines even before. For me, as an Information Technology student, I agree of pursuing an automated election but at the right time. For now when it is still an issue whether to pursue automation or not, I think a change of the system of election should be done step by step. There should first be proper information and orientation to the people and then be familiar with the system. It would be better if the automation of the election in the Philippines would be done first in a certain portion of the country to observe if it is effective and also for the citizens not to be shocked with a new system of election. This has been done to some foreign countries until all of their regions got automated elections. In ARMM, automated election has been tested. And as the results more number of ARMM citizens had voted. This is a positive view of having an automated election.

“This is a great leap forward for our country. This about making sure that every vote of every Filipino is counted, and counted properly. This about giving the future of the Philippines back to its own people,”
–Sen. Gordon

http://www.philippinestoday.net/index.php?module=article&view=47

This statement from senator Gordon is a positive view of the automation issue. Yes having polls automated would count every Filipinos vote.
Now in my own understanding I will give what would be the possible advantage sand disadvantages of pursuing automated elections.

Advantages:
•less labor - specially for teachers
•easy voting – in favor of those illiterate citizens
•quick results - will take more or less a day
•less CHEATING
•accuracy or results

Disadvantages:
•Computer error/ system problem
•automated CHEATING Laughing

There really are a lot of advantages of making the 2010 poll automated. Teachers won’t have to stay awake just for tallying the election results plus it would be less dangerous for them because that’s what I’ve observe on election tallying. There are a lot of threats to teachers because they are the one who counts the ballots and of course to those who wants to cheat don’t care even if they could harm the teachers who risk their lives to protect the citizens vote. It’s all the computers job. Automated election would also be easier specially for those citizens who can’t read and write because it just tale a click to vote. Another advantage is that results can easily be obtained and make no time for cheating. (IT cuts time) There would be less cheating because everything is automated and there are no ballots to steal. Results could be more accurate than manual elections because systems are accurately made.

“Cezar Flores, a spokesman for Smartmatic, said winners in national contests would be known in as soon as two days. Flores added that more than 90% of election results would be in within the first six hours after precincts are closed. He also said the count would have “100% accuracy.””
http://www.gulf-times.com/site/topics/article.asp?cu_no=2&item_no=301780&version=1&template_id=45&parent_id=25

But there could also be some disadvantages of having automated elections. One is possible system failure. It would be a problem if ever the system would malfunction. As I have mentioned earlier there could be less cheating because tallying is fully automated but we never know with the advance technology cheating could also be automated.

“Despite the assurances, some politicians and analysts said they were not 100% confident that the automation of the 2010 polls would proceed smoothly, especially since it would be the first time for the system to be used in the Philippines.“
http://www.gulf-times.com/site/topics/article.asp?cu_no=2&item_no=301780&version=1&template_id=45&parent_id=25

“The Commission on Elections (COMELEC) are now on the mindset of going back to manual counting if Smartmatic and TIM will not resolve their conflict. The COMELEC has given the two corporations until Friday to decide whether or not they could push through with the automation contract for the 2010 elections.”
- Ryuji23

http://www.nowpublic.com/world/2010-philippine-automated-election-jeopardy

SMARTMATIC and TIM. At present, we always hear of Smartmatic and TIM (Total Information Management Corp.). These are the two corporations I have been hearing on the news these past days. This is a really big talk-about in the country today.

About Smartmatic and Total Information Management Corporation (TIM)

"Smartmatic International Corp. (Smartmatic) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Smartmatic International Holding, BV, a company organized under the laws of The Netherlands. Smartmatic has organized elections using its electronic voting solutions in Latin America, the Carribean, the United States, and Asia.Total Information Management Corporation (TIM) is a domestic corporation registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission in 1981. The corporation is engaged in the business of information technology and service provider."
http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/nation/06/20/09/concerns-raised-over-automated-poll-rp

The two corporations are the winning bidders of the 2010 election among the seven which have been chosen before. Some conflicts also came out among the two but then are reolved.

With all the controversies of the automation of the 2010 elections, it would still be on the Filipinos descision of who they want to seat at the top. But it could also be up to the “cheating politician” to control the results. But as citizens of the country we would definitely not agree of letting our votes go to waste.

"Machines or no machines, there are ballots to be counted next year,".
-James Jimenez

http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/nation/06/20/09/concerns-raised-over-automated-poll-rp



bLog!! silent
http://xiibee.blogspot.com/2009/07/mis-assignment-3-thoughts-on-automated.html


gAbEe Ü
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desiree



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PostSubject: -Should we apply an Automated Election or just a Manual Poll??-   Thu Jul 09, 2009 1:57 am

Good Day everyone...-Should we apply an Automated Election or just a Manual Poll??-

Wow! As what and who we are in this generation, the knowledge that we have and the power that we gain, the TECHNOLOGY!! Amazing isn't it if will got to think of it, we were born to witness the advanced technology that the past nation have not experienced. And the best part of it that we could definitely be proud of in our country is that we already applied technology on choosing a leader in an unbiased way of voting since here in our country, Philippines, it has been proposed to have an automated election. Automated election perhaps as what I have said implemented to prevent a dirty election that is frequently happening. Another thing for those illiterate groups of people, they would really choose the automated way since they could easy vote. In short, automated voting is less time consuming because the programmers who proposed it ensures that the result of the election will just take more or less day.

As I am describing the way an automated election is, I would still prefer to have a manual voting since there is a big possibility that automated cheating will be present even how good they were presenting it.

Reminiscing the conference that we have attended last July 2, 2009 at Apo View Hotel, I am one of those participants who didn't go home until the last presenter was done presenting. As the presentation was about to end, one of the evaluator who sits at the back, ask him a simple but uncertain question whether if he would prefer to have an automated election or not. Since I am an IT student and knowing, in expected he answered "YES, I would allow". Amazingly, knowing the fact that the evaluator is a professional IT analyst, I also expect him to answer in the same way but what happened is indeed an opposite. And his answer made me realize of what is really happening.

I, myself, would prefer follow the manual election as what we are doing during those past years, decades, or even millennium. I've been choosing this one because an automated system proposed in an election has also a big chance in dealing with such biases.

So much for that and before the story goes so far, I would like to differentiate the Manual and Automated election. Yes, it is really easy to vote using an improvised machine the reason why most of the busy persons would prefer voting on that way because they can save more time in doing so. Definitely there will be no counting since the results of the election would automatically appear on their screens as the whole voters will finally done their job.

If we will go to think deeper, the automated election being proposed to our country, Philippines,
is not as effective as the other State is using. Come to think of this one, what if an error has been encountered during the voting process and sited example of this is the absence of energy?? The programmers who also proposed the said kind of electing would also be in great trouble. There is a possibility that any politician will do everything just to win. How the government or even the armed
forces be able to manage the said events that might happen?? Does the government could handle and secure the family of those programmers who knows deeper about the said program?? Perhaps, I would just prefer using the automated one if the proposal will be discussed and satisfied by the presenter to us, the country that they were trying to implement their programs with. The group of people who have decided to apply the automated election must consider the people around them.

Facing this kind of problems, I rather choose the manual election as what we have used to. Since using this kind of election, people would really determine, monitor and witness the election. At least, if there will be an unnecessary transaction that might happen, people could manipulate and control the situation.

Yes, I am an Information Technology student and must believe on the technology being offered, but what it reflects to me is the realization being stated to us during the COMDDAP event. We didn't even know how the system will function especially taking the first time. What would their thinking be?? Are they going to make this coming election an example or a try for what they have done??

Election is not a game...Election holds our life for about a decade maybe; therefore, we must be practical.

For sure, we all know how dirty the elections happened every electing time. We, even SK voters, witnessed the griminess of politics. Is this usual happening the one which they were trying to prevent?? Well, even how you try to prevent this kind of situation, if the rivals you were trying to defeat are really powerful, there's nothing you can do about it. Even applying the automated election would not help the government for it to bring to an end. There will be a big opportunity and chances for the politicians to play in a dirty way since they could buy or even study the said system by simply just showing the best amount that they could offer.

In partnership with Smartmatic Auditable Election System or SAES, it has been proven that it is fully- automated, completely secure and reliable. Proven under the accurate examination of independent international monitors in several national and regional elections, Smartmatic Auditable Election System has distinguished itself as the system away from accusation.




This is one site I have took:
“The powerful combination of robust hardware, secure software and highly qualified personnel enables the SAES system to guarantee elections that voters can trust, in any part of the world. From its voting machines that feature a variety of vote input devices, customizable interfaces and printed voter receipts, to its secure data transmission networks, high-end tallying servers, immediate results tabulation and fully auditable paper trail, the SAES technological platform is the only end-to–end system available that ensures democracy rules, cost effectively.”
-
http://www.smartmatic.com/solutions/automated-election-system/single-view/article/the-new-standard-of-modern-democracy/


If the partnership of Smartmatic Auditable Election System and Automated Election will continue, as one of those Filipino who’s still hoping for a fair election, I definitely support the said way. But the said believe will just happen if SAES will do.


You may also visit my site at: http://deshai08.blogspot.com/


Last edited by desiree on Thu Jul 09, 2009 1:19 pm; edited 7 times in total
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