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

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John Paul Pulido

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PostSubject: Automated Election?   Thu Jul 09, 2009 2:51 am

Philippines is now facing a major problem on what voting procedures to be used in the 2010 Presidential Election. Should we use automated or manual election? A hard question for a first time voter like me on the incoming election. As an IT student I want it to be automated because they said that the election process is simplified, in line with what I study, and I believe that this is now the time for the Philippines to engage in higher trend in technology in terms of choosing leaders.

But maybe it is too early to say that, because the two companies involved in the automated election is having an on and off relationship. So, I will just cite the advantages and disadvantages of having an automated election.

Automated Election System- comprising single or multiple voting stations for controlling and being a voting station
simultaneously. The voting system includes an integrated pointing device with graphical user interface for displaying the ballots. The voting stations may or may not be interconnected and indeed may operate as a single unit as a complete polling station. The voting system will track the number of votes and continuously display the number of votes cast on a counter system as it clearly displays the voter intent. The automated voting system also provides security for the voter and the system both internal and external. The external security system may be controlled by the polling authorities while the internal security system operates independently. The automated voting system is also capable of providing multiple ballot styles in one or more voting units and provides a touch electronic keyboard for write-in candidates. The automated voting system will also print on separate printers the tally results at the polling place and/or transmit the tally to a central collection position. The automated voting system also allows the voter to void the ballot prior to casting of the vote and then permit re-establishment of the voting unit.

-An automated voting system that integrates the stages of registering and certifying voters and collecting their votes.
A computer-based voter registration station accesses a database to verify that the voter is eligible to vote. Vote entry
stations provide a computer-based interactive graphic interface for permitting the voter to enter votes. A vote entry controller activates and monitors the vote entry stations to prevent unauthorized voting. Votes may be collected at either the vote entry stations or at the vote entry controller to which they are downloaded, which enhances security by providing a means to compare votes collected at one point in the system with votes collected at another point.

-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.


According to Marian Calago:

"There are also advantages and disadvantages of implementing the automated system for election. It provides efficient way for voting with less hassle. Voters cannot prolong the process of voting and lined up in a crowd. But a thought came across my mind. This could be the cause to worsen political situation. 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.

The result, the unceasing corruption can worsen financial crisis we are experiencing today and another leading cause of poverty is corruption. If the government did not put their hands into their secret pocket, the less fortunate filipinos will be given extra attention in terms of education to provide a better and brighter future."


The Advantages of having an automated voting:

Electronic voting machines can be made fully accessible for persons with disabilities. Punchcard and optical scan machines are not fully accessible for the blind or visually impaired, and lever machines can be difficult for voters with limited mobility and strength. Electronic machines can use headphones, sip and puff, foot pedals, joy sticks and other adaptive technology to provide the necessary accessibility.

Organizations such as the Verified Voting Foundation have criticized the accessibility of electronic voting machines and
advocate alternatives. Some disabled voters (including the visually impaired) could use a tactile ballot, a ballot system
using physical markers to indicate where a mark should be made, to vote a secret paper ballot. These ballots can be designed identically to those used by other voters. However, other disabled voters (including voters with dexterity disabilities) could be unable to use these ballot.


Electronic voting systems can offer solutions that allow voters to verify their vote is recorded and tabulated with
mathematical calculations. These systems can alleviate concerns of incorrectly recorded votes.

One feature to mitigate such concerns could be to allow a voter to prove how they voted, with some form of electronic receipt, signed by the voting authority using digital signatures. This feature can conclusively prove the accuracy of the tally, but any verification system that cannot guarantee the anonymity of voter's choice, can enable voter intimidation or vote selling.

Some cryptographic solutions aim to allow the voter to verify their vote personally, but not to a third party. One such way would be to provide the voter with a digitally signed receipt of their vote as well as receipts of other randomly selected votes. This would allow only the voter to identify her vote, but not be able to prove her vote to anyone else. Furthermore, each vote could be tagged with a randomly generated voting session id, which would allow the voter to check that the vote was recorded correctly in a public audit trail of the ballot.

Electronic voting machines are able to provide immediate feedback to the voter detecting such possible problems as
undervoting and overvoting which may result in a spoiled ballot. This immediate feedback can be helpful in successfully determining voter intent.

The disadvantage of having automated voting:

The distribution of the machines in remote areas in the Philippines. The knowledge and capability of the people on how to use the machine. And the system errors and machine breakdowns.


It is okay for me to use the manual process but it is much better to use automated..

God Bless Reggae!





References:
http://www.freepatentsonline.com/6799723.html
http://mariancalago.blogspot.com/2009/05/automated-election-for-2010.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electronic_voting

My Blog @ http://polrrockz.blogspot.com
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vanessa may caneda

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PostSubject: Automated Elections..   Thu Jul 09, 2009 2:54 am

2010 election is fast approaching. Newly elected officials both from the national and local levels will take charge in the next few years of their reign. Part of our tradition is having an election that will choose who among those qualified leaders can be the best ruler of our country. Throughout the history of Philippine elections, never-ending issues on disqualification appeals, cheating scandals and unjustified campaign schemes are always brought under the table.

From the local to the national level, from the lowest to the highest position, results on election returns are always questioned. Come to think of it, was there ever an election that passed where everyone was satisfied? There’s actually none. Political campaigns have always been colorfully dramatic. We always see in some advertisements in television those aspiring candidates seriously knocking every voter’s heart for them to be chosen.

Great caution must be observed upon examining those promises they had for our country. It’s saddening when people only see the immediate advantage but not the long-term improvement. The mentality of the people has been blinded by poverty. Poverty that is caused by long generations of conflict, lack of income resource and unwise governance. People always
blame the government. But it is the people who put them on top of the ladder in the first place. When the undeserving is one step ahead, there is no else to blame.

We are all aware about the automated election in 2010, which was then planned to be implemented. Advantages and disadvantages arise when this automated system for election is implemented. It provides efficient way for voting with less hassle. Voters cannot prolong the process of voting and lined up in a crowd. Its very convenient since we can get the tally immediately rather than to count it by hands. But then it could be the cause to worsen political situation. Possibilities for the candidates can hire computer experts to hack the system and manipulate the entire votes. Unless if the system is fully secured.

There comes an election automation contract to Smartmatic and TIM (Total Information Management). Smartmatic is a multinational company that designs and deploys technological solutions aimed at helping governments fulfill, in the most efficient way, their commitments with
their citizens. It is one of the largest cutting-edge technology suppliers, with a wide and proven experience in the United States, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean. Smartmatic also aims to help societies become more efficient and transparent, through technological innovations and it is responsible for several top and advanced innovations available in the market around three business areas: electronic auditable voting systems, intelligent and integrated security platforms, and advanced solutions for people registration and authentication for a wide range of government applications. Likewise, it is one of the service providers of the more expensive direct recording electronic system, or touch-screen technology.

Lately, local information technology provider Total Information Management Corp. (TIM) had backed out of a joint venture for election automation, fearing the deal gave its foreign partner unbridled power that could lead to potential abuse, according to an industry source close to TIM. Under the contract between Smartmatic International Corporation and TIM, Commission on Elections would have paid the providers P7.19 billion for the lease of goods and purchase of services. TIM opposes several key provisions in the joint venture agreement as well as in the contract on the 2010 automated election system. Local partners were concerned that TIM had no say on the counting software development, despite being the technical partner, and would be a lame duck if electronic cheating were to occur. There’s a provision in the proposed contract with Comelec and Smartmatic-TIM joint venture which states that: “The providers shall be liable for all their obligations under this project and the performance of portions thereof by other persons or entities not parties to this contract shall not relieve the providers of said obligations and concomitant liabilities.” Since Smartmatic is the provider of great track record in automated elections, it was their responsibility to take charge of the technical aspects of the counting and canvassing, software and hardware, including transmission configuration and system integration.

In the senate hearing, the head of the Filipino partner in the consortium that won the bid for next year’s computerized elections conceded that Smartmatic International would do the bulk of the automation. According to Jose Mari Antuñez, head of local IT provider Total Information Management Corporation, in accordance with an agreement on Friday the joint venture company to be formed with Smartmatic was on a 60-40 basis in favor of TIM. Smartmatic and TIM officials told the Senate that that they had patched up their differences and that they had agreed to a “neutral arbiter”—a Singaporean arbitration court—that would help resolve their conflict should they have another conflict.

If ever the automated election will take place, it is or responsibility to make sure that we used the technology properly. Likewise, it is very much important to have a good decision in terms of choosing a leader. We are definitely responsible for our own future. Our decisions affect the growth of our economy and our actions determine the fate of this country. There is hope for better tomorrow. We must begin by helping ourselves. Doing what is right will help us win this fight. The fight that determines who is going to lead this country to the shore of productivity.
Think. Evaluate. Vote wisely. Make a smart choice as 2010 elections knocks on every Filipino’s door.


References:

http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/inquirerheadlines/nation/view/20090707-214221/Smartmatic-TIM-assure-Senate-problem-settled
Philippine Daily Inquirer

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Sheila Capacillo

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PostSubject: Automated Election, will it work?   Thu Jul 09, 2009 4:00 am


The Government Department of Finance produces 11.9 billion pesos as a supplemental budget for this coming election which will be automated, but the question would be, if the election would be automated, will it really work well? What could be the pros and cons? Can it help change the political status of our country?

First of all, we will have a short background about 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.

Views and Opinions:
For me, the automated election can help in our present situation. Why? Because it lessens the time we spent in electing officers of our country who only aims to have power (just some of them). In terms of monetary, this automated lection is good enough for its budget. It can also lessen the cost that the government is spending in paying the people who facilitates the election.

Here are the Pros and Cons of the said automated election:
Pros:
Shorter Time in Election
It can prevent potential human error
Lessens the delay of relaying the data
Make elections much cheaper to execute

Cons:
Their could be a possibility that the system could be hacked.
The Presence o man power in manual counting will be counted.
The history of manual counting will fade away.

Can it help change the political status of our country?
Hmmm….. I think it doest matter if it is automated or manual, as long as the voters made a right choice of voting. Although the result of election is faster, the government should also be concern to our brothers and sisters who are not updated to the technology that we used, they should have a good tutor for that.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.
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.
Try to analyze things, we know that the automated election is possible as of the moment it is really good to have those ideas for the better election process but the risk of using this is that, what if the system could be hacked? It could be easier to the hacker to manipulate data and to change it.

The ABS-CBN broadcasting telecommunications introduces its program for the incoming election which is called “Ako Mismo”, I think it help people to be determined in joining the election. We all know that there could be a change if we start it in our selves. Some of us vote the corrupt politics in change for a small amount of money due to poverty. If we try to analyze things, it is better to vote for the right once so that he can help in improving the country. I think the automated election will work, if we all the people will participate to this event.
Well its 2009 now, may be their could be a change of plans for the election, but what ever it is either automated or manual, I hope that it would bring a good result for our country for better future.


References:
http://www.jpsimbulan.com/2008/08/06/is-the-philippines-ready-for-an-automated-election-system/
http://hubpages.com/hub/Automated-Election-Are-we-ready
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rosemie nunez

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PostSubject: automated elections   Thu Jul 09, 2009 5:42 am

Very Happy
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"

What is Automated election system? According to the Republic Act No. 9369 Section 2. Automated election system, hereinafter to as AES - a system using appropriate technology, which has been demonstrated in the voting, counting, consolidating, canvassing, and transmission of election result, and other electoral process. The data is transferred by Electronic transmission it convey data in electronic form from one location to other. The Official ballot where AES is utilized, refers to the paper ballot, whether printed or generated by the technology applied, that faithfully captures or represents the votes cast by a voter recorded or to be recorded in electronic form.
The Philippines is using this types of system during election:
* Paper-based election system - a type of automated election system that use paper ballots, records and counts votes, tabulates, consolidates/canvasses and transmits electronically the results of the vote count
*Direct recording electronic election system - a type or automated election system that uses electronic ballots, records, votes by means of a ballot display provided with mechanical or electro-optical component that can be activated by the voter, processes data by means of a computer programs, record voting data and ballot images, and transmits voting results electronically.

I think it will have the following positive impacts; First, Less expenses and reduces election violence because there will be no ballot boxes that will be transfer every now and then. Second, eliminate the delay that would be possible for cheating between ballot tallying and preparation of election returns. Third, lessen the possible for cheating at ballot reading, tallying and also human error

I mention in the third part that in the automated election it will lessen the possible for cheating at ballot reading, tallying. But I think there will be still cheating during the election period. Cheating can be lessen but cannot be remove. Like for example, cheating before was in the form of violence, using guns to threaten the teacher, and the volunteers, in the automated election it will shift to hacking the transmittal of election results from one place to another.

Section 7 of Republic Act No. 8436 is hereby amended to read the follows:
The automated election system must at least have the following functional capabilities.
(a) Adequate security against unauthorized access:
(b) Accuracy in recording and reading of votes as well as in the tabulation, consolidation/canvassing, electronic transmission, and storage of results;
(c) Error recovery in case of non-catastrophic failure of device;
(d) System integrity which ensures physical stability and functioning of the vote recording and counting process;
(e) Provision for voter verified paper audit trail;
(f) System auditability which provides supporting documentation for verifying the correctness of reported election results;
(g) An election management system for preparing ballots and programs for use in the casting and counting of votes and to consolidate, report and display election result in the shortest time possible;
(h) Accessibility to illiterates and disable voters;
(i) Vote tabulating program for election, referendum or plebiscite;
(j) Accurate ballot counters;
(k) Data retention provision;
(l) Provide for the safekeeping, storing and archiving of physical or paper resource used in the election process;
(m) Utilize or generate official ballots as herein defined;
(n) Provide the voter a system of verification to find out whether or not the machine has registered his choice; and
(o) Configure access control for sensitive system data and function.
"In the procurement of this system, the Commission shall develop and adopt an evaluation system to ascertain that the above minimum system capabilities are met. This evaluation system shall be developed with the assistance of an advisory council."


According to Rico Mossesgeld these are the risks during the election period and I agree in this factors:
“There are Risk Factors”
Software - The software used all throughout the process, from ballot reading all the way to returns tallying, must be open for public scrutiny. It may not be proprietary and secret.
Devices - Ballots and computers used throughout may fail. Backup/contingency plan must exist and be robust. Sabotage could be the way cheating will be introduced, in order to force reverting to manual process.
Architecture - Transmittal and reporting of results could be susceptible to hacking. instant public visibility of results as counted at source and as transmitted at receipt will mitigate threats of hacking.
User - Voting needs to be simple and straightforward. Many Filipinos are not computer literate, and barely literate. PEBKAC errors can lead to many spoiled ballots, which may either be invalidated like in the US, or can be used as a pretense to revert to manual.

Of course automated election is a step to improve our election process. Every change we made have its good and bad impacts. And new system is part of the things we must implement to change the traditional election process.
If I am going to compare the manual and the automated, for me automated has more advantages than the manual.
For me, in this critical issues, we must be open minded on the new technology that are fast changing in our community, to make our work faster than before, much less error than before. The anomalies they are talking, discussing, arguing this past few weeks are normal. For me, no matter how perfect the system is, if the users or the facilitator of the system have some bad plan for the system, anomalies comes next in line.

We must all pray and hope that during election period there will be no power interruption in all the precincts so that the first automated election I the Philippines will be successful and less doubt to all the Filipino people.





REFERENCES:

http://technogra.ph/20090309/sections/analysis/what-election-automation-means-for-the-philippines/

http://www.google.com.ph/search?q=automated+election+in+the+philippines&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a

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

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

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

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

VISIT MY BLOG: www.rosemienp.blogspot.com


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Jethro Alburo Querubin

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PostSubject: Automated Election   Thu Jul 09, 2009 6:58 am

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
Chapter 13
Automated Elections
Automated Elections
178
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.

Automated election fraud

AUTOMATED ELECTION fraud like manual election fraud can be divided into two parts:

1. Retail cheating in the counting and preparation of precinct election returns.

2. Wholesale fraud in the transmission and canvassing at the municipal, district, city and provincial levels.

Fraud usually does not happen at the national level since there are fewer numbers to transmit and canvass, and there are many eyes focused on the process.

We will start by discussing how fraud can be done on the OMR (optical mark reading) counting machines.

Then we will discuss how fraud can take place in transmission and canvassing.

The Comelec claims that we will finally have clean and honest elections because the 2010 elections will be fully automated.

The old cheaters who are computer illiterate and not in Comelec or with the automated system vendors may indeed find that their old tricks will no longer work.

Misreading and manual tampering of ERs and COCs will no longer be possible.

Transparency

The beauty of the old system of writing names of candidates voted for, public reading of votes in front of watchers and citizens, tallying and manual preparation of election returns was that it was visible.

At times there could have been fraud. But it was visible. Maybe sometimes due to guns and goons, people would just keep quiet.

In the new OMR system voters will feed the ballot into the machine the next thing they will see is the printed election return.

Whether their votes were properly counted they will not know.

Transparency at the precinct level is gone.

Fraud can take place and the voters and watchers at the precinct will not know if fraud has taken place.

Comelec’s claims

Comelec claims that the AES (automated election system) cannot be hacked and that the source code will be open for inspection.

These are good for Comelec’s PR efforts, but they do not make automated elections safe from fraud. In fact, they are smoke screens that cover the real areas where fraud can take place.

The Random House Encyclopedia defines hacking as unauthorized access to a computer, either for fun or for malicious or fraudulent purposes.

Hackers generally use microcomputers and telephone lines to obtain access.

In computing, the term is used in a wider sense to mean using software for enjoyment or self-education, not necessarily involving unauthorized access.

Hacking is not the problem and, therefore, spending time and money to prevent hacking is not very useful.

If only outsiders would rob you in your home then having grilled windows, special locks, alarms, etc. will ensure your safety.

But if you live in the company of thieves, you can still be robbed. That is what the police refer to as an “inside job.”

The greatest danger of fraud in the 2010 computerized elections will come from insiders in Comelec and computer vendors, not from outsiders.

In a recent meeting of the Management Association of the Philippines Election Automation subcommittee, with former Customs and BIR Commissioner Guillermo Parayno, we asked him whether his agencies had ever been hacked.

His answer was no, any intrusions were always by insiders.

Source code inspection

The other point Comelec likes to stress is that the source code of the OMR counting machines will be available for inspection by computer experts.

Looking at the source code is practically useless.

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.

This does not have to be done on all machines.

If done on even just 10 percent of the OMR machines, a tight race may be reversed in favor of those who are cheating.

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.

Fraud at provincial level

While the Comelec has budgeted P8.2 billion for machines rental of OMR machines, it has only budgeted P200 million for transmission and P200 million for canvassing.

There is no provision for parallel transmission and canvassing. Therefore, there is no provision for audit.

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.

This process took time and caused delays when lawyers argued, but at least citizens could see what was going on, hopefully make sure that votes were properly canvassed and at the very least be aware that frauds had taken place.

The Comelec AES has no safeguards against insider-initiated fraud. It assumes that the Comelec and the vendor officials, managers and staff are absolutely honest. It assumes that an automated system will not commit mistakes or fraud.

In the Comelec system, massive fraud can take place, but it will not be discovered until after the beneficiaries of fraud have been proclaimed.

Good luck with the election protests to the real winners who were defrauded!

How can fraud be done?

While RA 9369 provides for the printing of up to 30 copies of ERs and their posting at the precinct, the single transmission and canvassing system can move much faster.

Some vendors claim that national candidates could be proclaimed in less than 48 hours.

Unfortunately, the political parties and citizens arms cannot move that fast and would not be able to point to fraudulent manipulation before the rushed proclamation of the favored candidates, as what recently happened in Iran.

It is interesting that while it was said that the slow transmission and canvassing in the old manual system created many opportunities for fraud, in the new automated system, very fast transmission and canvassing in 2010 may lead to massive fraud, frustrating the true votes of our nation.

I would propose that legislation be passed to deliberately institute auditing steps at each level.

There is nothing wrong with the national count taking two weeks. There is a saying that haste makes waste. Let’s not have our new leaders elected by automated election fraud.

Smartmatic case

Avante has documented how Smartmatic was able to remotely change the ERs of three precincts in Wao in last year’s ARMM election.

Three precincts reported 0 votes because the number of votes exceeded the number of voters.

Smartmatic was able to remotely change the votes in the three precincts.

The Internet and the World Wide Web are powerful tools for doing good. They can also be used for evil.

Good or evil

My company uses the Internet and collaboration software to be able to access our customers’ computers and manipulate them as if we were onsite. The same could be done with the Comelec OMR machines and transmission and canvassing computers.

What could we do with such remote access and manipulation capabilities?

Someone could access OMR machines and change their vote counting tables temporarily to make some candidates get votes and others lose votes.

After counting, the proper tables could be restored so that the fraud would go undetected.

The same technology could be used to access municipal canvassing systems to change the COC prior to transmission. The best way to cheat would be to switch votes between candidates.

Something similar could be done on provincial canvassing computers.

Key safeguards

However, instead of altering the provincial COC, one could change the statement of votes of some municipalities. These changes would be reflected on the provincial COC.

How do we safeguard our vote?

In order to prevent automated election fraud, certain safeguards have to be instituted. These include:

1. The OMR machines should not have any network connection. The election results should be copied to USB memory sticks, which can subsequently be loaded to a separate PC that will transmit the results to the Comelec canvassing system at the municipality and to the dominant majority and minority parties, as well as to the citizens arms such as PPCRV and Namfrel.

2. The above parties should be provided with their own PCs to be able to produce their own COCs. If the Comelec COC does not match the COCs produced by other parties, a careful review should be done prior to transmission to the provincial level.

3. The verified municipal COC should then be transmitted to the multiple groups defined above. Again, the Comelec COC should be compared with the other COCs and the reason for discrepancies should be determined.

4. The verified Provincial COC should again be transmitted to multiple parties.

The Comelec and Congressional Canvass should again be compared to the parallel canvasses to assure that fraud is minimized as much as possible.

5. Each of the concerned groups should make their results available on their websites for the public to access.

If these proposed measures are followed, there will be true transparency and automated fraud will be minimized.


Opinion..

If I were to choose whether manual or automated election, I would rather choose automated because it will lessen the time of voting. With regards to the situation, many rumors that it will become worst if we will use the automated election because it will be manipulated by some of the people. But, security is more gained in automated election rather than manual.

Comparison between Manual and Automated Election..

Manual

1. manual testing no tool is available to test the application,you have to check the application manually by manually weither the application is working is working as per the client requirements or not.
2. Unsecured (due to bombings and thief)
3. Takes more time for results

Automated

1. Convenient
2. Gets a tally immediately
3. Fast Results
4. Secured
5. Transparent

The problem is..

1. Inaccurate
2. Disturbingly easy to hack
3. Automation testing tool is available to test the application weither the application is working is working as per the client requirements or not.


References:
http://www.neda.gov.ph/ads/mtpdp/mtpdp2004-2010/pdf/mtpdp%202004-2010%20neda_chapterx13_elections.pdf
http://business.inquirer.net/money/columns/view/20090706-214009/Automated-election-fraud
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Maria Theresa F. Rulete

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PostSubject: Re: Assignment 3 (Due: July 09, 2009, before 01:00pm)   Thu Jul 09, 2009 7:37 am





The upcoming 2010 elections in the Philippines is the hottest issue as of now because of the reason that it would be done not manually but using the automated machine with the help of the new technology. About 50 million people are expected to vote at 350,000 precincts in May 2010 to elect a president, vice president, nearly 300 members of Congress and more than 17,000 local officials through the new and untested automated system.

Unlike in past elections when counting and tallying of votes were done manually, taking almost a month to determine results at the national level, Comelec is promising results within 36 hours under the new system made by the Smartmatic with the partnership of the Total Information Management Corp. (TIM).

However, “As Ducky Paredes kept emphasizing, election related preparations can\'t just be rushed. Else, it will create uncertain situation that harms the organization as well. Every government office, especially its leadership, always want to deliver better service to the people. However, forces beyond its control, like the legislature and various interest groups can either help or be a productive watchdog (give thumbs up or down accordingly) or make all efforts impossible. Their actions influences our perception on the COMELEC.”

http://philippineselection.blogspot.com/2007/07/automated-election-in-2010.html

Many people concluded that the Philippines is not yet ready to experience a modernized election especially that the time for preparation is not enough. And according to the national survey, one in 10 Filipinos can not read and write.

“I am not willing to spend even a single centavo for a system which is not tested, for a system we cannot even describe or define, or a system that we’re not even sure of delivering a clean, honest and fair election,” Escudero said.

http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/inquirerheadlines/nation/view/20090306-192592/All-go-for-automated-elections-in-2010

“It’s not unfounded (Comelec’s apprehensions), it’s dangerous. We have not tried automation,” Enrile said over radio station dwIZ.”


http://www.philstar.com/Article.aspx?articleId=481760

It would be the first time that the Philippines would use an automated machine for the national election and in fact, the senators said they were not sure how the Comelec would conduct the actual balloting and whether there were backup plans if the machines failed to scan the ballots, print and transmit results.

“How secured the comelec voting system that they urge to use the automated election this 2010? I think the system can be hacked and manipulate the results by the computer experts. If the National Security system of U.S have millions of attempts to hacked and control their system, how much more here in the Philippines.”

http://mariancalago.blogspot.com/2009/05/automated-election-for-2010.html

With all the disadvantages stated above, it would be better also if we could compare it to the advantages to balance everything and to make a conclusion later.

“Gordon, author of RA 9369 or the amended Automated Elections System (AES) Law, issued the statement to allay fears that automated elections would equate to computerized cheating. the law, which is technology-neutral, has mandated at least 16 \"minimum system requirements\" to ensure clean, honest and credible elections.

The minimum system requirements mandated by RA 9369 include adequate security against unauthorized access; accessibility to illiterates and disabled voters; vote tabulating program for election, referendum or plebiscite; accurate ballot counters; data retention provision; utilize or generate official ballots; and configure access control for sensitive system data and function. It also mandates accuracy in recording and reading of votes as well as in the tabulation, consolidation/canvassing, electronic transmission, and storage of results; and error recovery in case of non-catastrophic failure of device; and system integrity which ensures physical stability and functioning of the vote recording and counting process. RA 9369 requires a source code for the automated election system (AES) to be selected and shall be made available by the Comelec to all interested parties for their review. The AES shall also include a continuity plan in case of a systems breakdown or any such eventuality which shall result in the delay, obstruction or non-performance of the electoral process. Other safeguards include provisions for voter verified paper audit trail; system auditability to provide supporting documentation for verifying the correctness of reported election results; and to provide for the safekeeping, storing and archiving of physical or paper resource used in the election process.

The law also requires that the machines should provide the voter a system of verification to find out whether the machine has registered his choice; and a random manual audit be done in one precinct per congressional district randomly chosen by the Comelec in each province and city.

Gordon said any difference between the automated and manual count will result in the determination of root cause and initiate a manual count for those precincts affected by the computer or procedural error.”

http://forums.abs-cbn.com/thread/3020566.aspx

“With automated elections, our people can rely on the fact that their vote will be counted, and that their vote will mean change for the country, then they will stop being cynical. And once they stop being cynical, perhaps the focus will now be on the common good,” said Gordon.

Melo said full automation under the Precinct Counting Optical Scan (PCOS) would considerably reduce instances of fraud and cheating. It will also lessen election complaints because the system promises to be fast and accurate, according to the Comelec chief.

http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/inquirerheadlines/nation/view/20090306-192592/All-go-for-automated-elections-in-2010

As an IT student and a first time voter, I would rather choose the automated than the manual. It is for the reason that I wanted the Philippines to excel in the fields of technology though we all know that it would be very difficult for the Filipinos to adjust on the very big changes that would happen in the 2010 elections. But what’s the role of people who has experienced using technologies, like us IT students? We can help to educate those people who don’t even know how to use computer devices though there is only a short period of time left. How about if an assistant could help an illiterate voter during the votation? How about if the system would just provide pictures of the candidates and instruct the voter to just click the picture of the person who they want to vote with? I know it would be very crucial for everyone but we with the help of our prayers, whatever would be the result of the 2010 elections, it would be God’s plan because He knows best. If any of the interested groups are planning to cheat on the system, time will come that they would suffer for everything they would do. It’s time for our country to excel, to shine, to be known. And it’s time for us to prove to the world that we can stand together to fight for the right. But the biggest question that remains is that: Will there be elections by 2010?




My Blog: http://etelur.blogspot.com/2009/07/automated-elections-in-philippines.html


Suspect Sad Crying or Very sad scratch Mad


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Jovylin O. Sandoval

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PostSubject: Re: Assignment 3 (Due: July 09, 2009, before 01:00pm)   Thu Jul 09, 2009 8:16 am

What is Automated Election?

Automated Election is a process that is using an automated system, which is the appropriate technology for voting, counting, consolidating, canvassing, transmission of election results, and other processes in the conduct of electoral exercises.

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 Direct Recording Equipment (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

MAJOR CHANGES FROM THE MANUAL SYSTEM

1. No writing of names - All candidates' names are pre-printed on the ballot. The entire voter would have to do to indicate his vote is to shade the oval corresponding to the name of the candidate of his choice.

2. Ballots are not counted in the polling place - After the closing of the polls, the ballots will be brought to the centralized counting center to be counted by the machines.

3. There are added security features at different levels - Aside from the usual built-in securities in the current manual system, there would be additional security features in the following levels: printing of ballots, shipment, counting and canvassing

4. Minimum human intervention - Human intervention is limited to telling the machine to: start and stop counting the ballots, start saving the results in a diskette (or any data storage device), and start printing the results. And appreciation of ballots is entirely done by the machine.


Now, regarding to the bidding of the automated system, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) was awarded the P11.3-billion contract for the automation of next year’s elections to the consortium of Smartmatic International and Total Information Management Corp.

SMARTMATIC…

Smarmatic International Corp. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Smart¬matic International Holdings, BV of The Netherlands. The firm was founded more than a decade ago as a research and development group specializing in systems integration. Smartmatic has organized elections in several regions around the world, including South America, the Car¬ribean, the United States and Asia. Smartmatic was also the system provider for the 2007 Autonomous Region in Muslim Minda¬nao elections. Of the seven consortia, only Smartmatic/TIM was declared by the committee as qualified in terms of financial and technical requirements and eligibility.


TIM…

Total Information Management (TIM)
, on the other hand, is a Filipino-owned information technology company that operates nationwide and offers various information-technology (IT) services and products. According to its website, TIM was founded in 1985 as a supplier for re¬certified and refurbished IBM mainframes and peripheral equipment. Since then, it has grown to be the country’s leading technology services company.


However, 2010 elections may be too near though and any automation efforts, the planning and preparation for it must start as early as this year so that it couldn’t be rushed because it will only create uncertain situation that harms the organization and so that it can deliver a better service to the people. And if the automated election system was done right and securely, it may be curb cheating. Perhaps it will be best also to do some trials on 2010 in key areas like Metro Manila to begin with so that we can really see if its really good and reliable and not gonna be electronic voting but an electronic cheating too? This therefore can be no difference with the Manual system too, if it happens.
As what I have read, electronic voting could also have some cases of problems, errors and failures. These cases included: uninitialized machines, which made ballot stuffing possible; votes not counted or lost; candidates’ votes reversed; contests not counted; ballots not counted; the wrong winner comes out; allowing voting more than once; vote totals that exceed the number of registered voters; negatives votes; unauthorized software replacement; and other problems.

The problems are also causes by the complex technologies, such as: software bugs, which are always present even in high-quality software; hardware problems such as miscalibration; environmental stresses that may worsen hardware problems; poor or flawed design; human errors; and malicious tampering.

Hope so it will not happen, lets us be honest pls…!


Moreover, according to what I have research, the real works of the automated election begins on the Smartmatic. They are assured and confident that they will gonna do it successfully with the security and transparency of our votes in this kind of election. The other thing that they will going to do are the following:

• Smartmatic will be going to different voting centers to check local conditions, including the electrical and communication lines.
• The company was willing to make public the source code, especially because it was one of the requirements of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) and so that politicians and political parties can be confident with the system. In addition, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) would be tasked to protect source code, a security feature to help prevent cheating.
• Smartmatic assured that under its system, Comelec would be able to declare winners within 36 hours after the voting period.
• Smartmatic will be providing for the 82,200 Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines to automate voting nationwide.
• Smartmatic assured that were safe from hacking and the system works without any human intervention once the machines are deployed. And the machines were to be made would be open to media, official election observers and members of the advisory council.



But inspite of this assurance that we have in Smartmatic, there’s many issues arose before the contract signing of the two companies. These issues are:

• The TIM president Jose Mari Antuñez had told Melo that TIM was withdrawing from its partnership with Smartmatic, citing “irreconcilable differences” and “loss of confidence.”
• TIM lawyer De Borja said that his client had decided to sever its ties with Smartmatic because the foreign firm wanted to have an upper hand in decision-making.
• Borja maintained that TIM could not allow this because “down the road, we are the Filipino partner so if there is a problem, we’ll be the one that will be left to answer.”
• Comelec chairman Jose Melo announced that money was the root of the fallout between the two companies, jeopardizing the automation of next year’s local and national polls.
• There were reports that TIM was demanding some P500 million from Smartmatic.
• Smartmatic international sales director Cesar Flores confirmed that TIM wanted “to have more control in the operations.”
• “ But it’s the requirements of the Comelec that the company with the biggest experience in automation – which in this case is Smartmatic – is the one that has to guarantee the technology, the software, the transmission and the operations of the elections so we are indeed in charge of the operations,” Flores added.
• And Antuñez told their foreign partner’s lawyers that their problems with their partnership could be solved if Smartmatic paid its local partner P500 million.



Because of these issues happened, there gonna have possible consequences and rumors that they can get for backing out, like

• If the two companies cannot push through with the automation contract, Melo admitted that next year’s elections might be done manually because the Comelec no longer has the time to convene a second bidding for a new supplier of machines.
• The entire consortium that was supposed to provide machines for the automation of next year’s national elections may face legal liabilities and civil damages following the withdrawal of TIM from its partnership with Smartmatic, according to Justice Secretary Agnes Devanadera.
• There’s also rumor tells that it was TIM that was the guilty party. It threatened to file criminal and civil charges against TIM for backing out of the landmark project.
• And the Nacionalista Party headed by Sen. Manuel Villar Jr. warned that the withdrawal of the local partner of the consortium that would facilitate automated polls might just be part of the Arroyo administration’s grand scheme to cancel elections.



But, for only a few days the issue between the two companies was already resolved and the poll automation was back on track. In addition, the confirmation about this was delivered by a certain persons,

• According to the Smartmatic international sales director Cesar Flores, the two companies "have already signed all necessary documents for the incorporation of our joint venture corporation" which will implement the automation project.
• According to Jose Mari Antunez, president and chief executive of Total Information, confirmed that the consortium members had resolved their differences and agreed to "move forward".
• According to Melo, Smartmatic and TIM were able to settle their differences, but he refused to elaborate what happen because its just a private conversation for them. And he added that whatever internal arrangement that they have, it’s between them.


It’s really good and relief for me to hear about it coz, honestly I am so excited for it because I want to experience it. I’m really praying that there were no anomalies and cheatings that comes out during the election. And I’m sure that there’s many patrollers also out there that will watch and guide our votes for the common good of all the Filipinos. Ika nga, “Boto Mo, Ipatrol Mo”. I’m proud to be Pinoy! cheers cheers cheers


References:
http://www.manilatimes.net/national/2009/june/15/yehey/top_stories/20090615top3.html
http://www.gmanews.tv/story/163997/(Update)-Smartmatic-bags-P113-B-poll-automation-deal
http://hubpages.com/hub/Automated-Election-Are-we-ready




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kate karen rasonable

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PostSubject: ..2010 Automated Elections..   Thu Jul 09, 2009 10:24 am

What is Automated Elections?

While browsing the internet, looking for some articles that will let me really understand what, why, how this automated elections come up, I found this .pdf file that somehow gave me an idea regarding this what they call automated elections. That files states the following:

The conduct of elections in the Philippines for the past 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).

The joint venture of Total Information Management (TIM) and Smartmatic Corporation is a way for the automated elections be possible for the Presidential Elections on 2010.
As what I’ve red in a newspaper, the Smartmatic-TIM joint venture won the contract to automate next year’s general elections with a P7.2-billion bid. The Dutch firm Smartmatic needs Filipino firm TIM’s participation for the consortium and the project to continue. So before digging deeper into the issues behind this consortium, let us first know what these companies are.

What is Total Information Management (TIM)?

Total Information Management Corporation (TIM) is a wholly-owned Filipino information technology (IT) company offering a suite of market leading products and services that are responsive to the mission critical needs of the banking, telecommunications, manufacturing, and services industries. Through strategic alliances with successful global IT companies, personalized service initiatives, and managed financial growth, TIM has successfully found its place aong the major multinational players in the IT industry.


What is Smartmatic Corporation?

Smartmatic is a privately-owned, multinational company that designs and deploys end-to-end, custom technology solutions to enable government agencies and large enterprises to fulfill their missions with the utmost efficiency. Founded around a core team of elite engineers who are guided by the principle of continuous improvement in process, performance and results, Smartmatic delivers unsurpassed technology to clients in four key business divisions:

- Electronic voting systems
- Intelligent and integrated security systems
- Identity registration and authentication of large population groups
- Technology research and development, and consulting.

On my point of view..

With this new automated election, new processes would also be implemented such as for voting and canvassing of votes. Along with this new technology, a lot new issues and speculations have come up. Others would say that this kind of elections is a great way for the people to vote since everything is automated. Others would also say that with this kind of elections, every voter would be assured that his vote wouldn’t be wasted.

But, no matter how great the security for each vote can this system be, cheaters are just everywhere. Maybe ballot boxes cannot stolen or changed or tally votes can’t be lessen or added just what we always encounter during elections here in our country, but it can be hacked and votes be manipulated by expert IT people. That’s why I can’t always put my trust on this kind of system.
But the question is, Is Philippines ready for the automated elections? Are the Filipinos ready for automation? As what I’ve red from the internet, the functional literacy survey of the National Statistics Office (NSO) showed that ARMM (Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao) was having the lowest basic literacy rate in the country, with 30 percent of its people aged 10-64 years old considered illiterate. 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. Let me remind that of last year’s election in this region where it was being threatened by Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). Thus, I think the political situation in this region is prone to cheatings also with the given rate of literacy from NSO where corrupt people would take this survey an advantage on their part. Another thing is that on a national level, one in ten (10) Filipinos can not read and write, according to the survey.
So a lot of questions would come to our minds, “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? We’ll never know what would be the answers to these questions until we finally experience the new change in the election process. Let just hope for our best and of course for this country.

References:
Automated Elections
Smartmatic Corporations
Total Information Management
http://www.jpsimbulan.com/2008/08/06/is-the-philippines-ready-for-an-automated-election-system/

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Jezreel Jyl P. Hilado

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PostSubject: • Assignment 3 •   Thu Jul 09, 2009 11:43 am

AUTOMATED ELECTION IN THE PHILIPPINES
ELECTION 2010


As an Information Technology student, my opinion regarding this issue is that automated election shall be imposed for this coming election 2010. Automated election indeed can minimize the problems of the members of the COMELEC as well as the Filipinos all over the world. By using these automated and advanced equipments, voters won’t be able to have a hard time in manually writing their selected candidates and with just click, they are done voting. And when it comes to the volunteers and members of the COMELEC, they will not at least get tired in tallying the votes. When the tallying of votes are manually done, it will probably reach at about approximately two to three weeks of just counting the votes nationwide. In this way, the results are quicker. If this new way of voting will be done and will be imposed this coming election and the next elections to come, the cost of these equipments will be worth buying for and the result of the votes will be done automatically. And with in this way, we can at least minimize election fraud that can cause for the wrong candidates to be elected and be placed in the wrong position.
According to the news that I’ve read, equipments produced by Smartmatic will probably reach at about 11.3 billion pesos. Big amount isn’t it? But if we’ll look at the big picture and just think of the big change that this new technology might bring and contribute to our country these equipments are worth buying for. I believe that by using these equipments, it will widely contribute all the Filipino voters nationwide and even outside the country.

ADVANTAGES OF AUTOMATED ELECTION:

• can guarantee fair and accurate election
• results are virtually impossible to tamper because its levels of security cannot just be matched
• guarantees a flawless electoral process for the Filipinos
• speedy and fraud free election
• ensures credible and electoral process

As I was reading articles regarding this matter, I have read that there are possibilities that the election and the tallying of votes using these equipments can be cheated. Of course, we cannot deny the fact that there a lot of desperate candidates who are eager to win the election and we do not what they are up to. Maybe they just want to serve their fellowmen, or they want to be more powerful or even one way or another. We really don’t know. There are a lot of ways in cheating the election, one way is hacking the system that will be used in the election. This is not impossible, as technology arises there are a lot of possible ways that can be done. For them, money is in control of everything. If the greedy candidates will do their best in order for them to win, they can use their power and hire expert hackers and programmers just to cheat. One of the reasons why our country is still not in progress is because of the greedy politicians stole and continue stealing the money of the Filipinos.
If there are a lot of ways to cheat the election, there are also a lot of solutions and ways to avoid this problem. If each and every one of us will help in safekeeping the votes, we will be able to lessen this problem and at least in this way we will be able to help our country. Lending a helping hand to those organizations who are trying to help the safety of our votes is one way of being concern to our country. In fact it is only a matter of helping your country as well as your countrymen. And by choosing the right candidates that will responsibly take actions in making difference in the country is a big help. All these things might be simple but these things can make a big change. Our future is at stake and we can’t risk our future right? Then if we want change, and if we will fight for it, all these things are not that hard to achieve. And to be honest, no matter what medium or technology we are going to use, if we will going to help change and put the right candidates in the right position, we will be able to make that change and that change starts within us.


“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,” Richard Gordon





These are the articles that I have read in the internet:
____________________________________________________________________________________________

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:\MIS\2010-philippine-automated-election-jeopardy\
___________________________________________________________________________________________________

Philippines says plan for automated election on again


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.

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

_____________________________________________________________________________________
Automated election fraud



Comelec’s claims:
Comelec claims that the AES (automated election system) cannot be hacked and that the source code will be open for inspection. These are good for Comelec’s PR efforts, but they do not make automated elections safe from fraud. In fact, they are smoke screens that cover the real areas where fraud can take place. The Random House Encyclopedia defines hacking as unauthorized access to a computer, either for fun or for malicious or fraudulent purposes. Hackers generally use microcomputers and telephone lines to obtain access.
In computing, the term is used in a wider sense to mean using software for enjoyment or self-education, not necessarily involving unauthorized access.
How do we safeguard our vote?
In order to prevent automated election fraud, certain safeguards have to be instituted. These include:
1. The OMR machines should not have any network connection. The election results should be copied to USB memory sticks, which can subsequently be loaded to a separate PC that will transmit the results to the Comelec canvassing system at the municipality and to the dominant majority and minority parties, as well as to the citizens arms such as PPCRV and Namfrel.
2. The above parties should be provided with their own PCs to be able to produce their own COCs. If the Comelec COC does not match the COCs produced by other parties, a careful review should be done prior to transmission to the provincial level.
3. The verified municipal COC should then be transmitted to the multiple groups defined above. Again, the Comelec COC should be compared with the other COCs and the reason for discrepancies should be determined.
4. The verified Provincial COC should again be transmitted to multiple parties. The Comelec and Congressional Canvass should again be compared to the parallel canvasses to assure that fraud is minimized as much as possible.
5. Each of the concerned groups should make their results available on their websites for the public to access. If these proposed measures are followed, there will be true transparency and automated fraud will be minimized.

http://business.inquirer.net/money/columns/view/20090706-214009/Automated-election-fraud


____________________________________________________________________________________

Smartmatic commends automation of elections in the Philippines


Manila, July 18, 2006.– In his recent visit to Manila, Philippines, Robert Cook, Smartmatic Vicepresident, revealed the importance of automating the electoral process, stating his company’s experience in other developing countries. In his talk with David Celdran, host of “Business Nightly” aired over ANC, a local television news network, Cook exposed that utmost respect is instantly earned by the winning candidate if the citizens trust the election system.

Mr. Cook said that their experience in various developing countries proves that an automated election process that is run by a sufficiently advanced technology can guarantee fair and accurate elections. With the right technology, results are also virtually impossible to tamper because its levels of security cannot just be matched. The superiority of Smartmatic’s automated election system encompasses an election technology that guarantees a flawless electoral process for the Filipinos.

http://automatedelec.Smartmatic/Smartmatic.commends.automation/
_____________________________________________________________________________________


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Stihl Lhyn Samonte

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PostSubject: MIS Assignment 3   Thu Jul 09, 2009 11:52 am

What is Automated Election about?


  • It is a system using appropriate technology for voting and electronic devices to count votes and canvass/consolidate results. A machine that uses an optical scanning and mark, sense reading device or any similar advanced technology to count ballots. 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.
http://www.chanrobles.com/republicactno8436.htm

The current situation of Automated Election


  • Philippines says plan for automated election on again
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.

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


  • 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.

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

My opinion


[justify]For me, I will go with automated election because using those machines, we could easily vote during election without hassle and could consume a short time, no bias and could ensure that we choose a right person who wins in the election. Automated election ensures 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, automated election makes the count voting takes a short time compare to the manual election. Manual election 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 and takes a lot of time, days, and weeks before we could declare a leader. And we could not make sure that manual election is no bias because as we observed during last election there were many problems we experienced. But if we could use Automated Election our country becomes progressive, we could ensure a good leader in our country.



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Ariel Serenado

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PostSubject: my thoughts on the Automated Election...   Thu Jul 09, 2009 12:19 pm

For assignment 3 in MIS, we are tasked to make a blog entry on our own thoughts regarding the 2010 Automated Election.

There are issues that need to be entertained nowadays especially that these issues greatly affect our daily living, indeed we are socially and politically affected with the current issues we are facing. There is a great necessity in keeping ourselves abreast and vigilant for we can be engulfed by these issues and eventually will ruin the future of our country. Responding to the current issue in our environment is one way of giving or lending an aide to the government as to their performance. Whether they are on the right side they don’t know, only its subordinates, the people, who knows what a good government is.

The issue is on the AUTOMATED ELECTION, which is primarily proposed by the COMMISSION ON ELECTION. There are people who are in favor with this proposal however there is also countless number of people who are against to this proponent and continue to address their will and their thoughts . This issue has brought into debates, series of arguments and even disagreements between parties involved in the issue.
As for my own opinion, before a decision turned into a verdict let us first consider things in a more specific way. Let’s not limit our thinking with the things that makes us going. Technology has great participation on the breakthrough of the plan for automated election. This thing must be taken into account, considering its advantages. Technology has been a part of our daily living, and basically we already know how the impact relates to the basic needs of the people.

Automated Election…My thoughts…my views…


“The Comelec claims that we will finally have clean and honest elections because the 2010 elections will be fully automated.”

Quite late, the Philippines finally had its taste on making the 2010 election fully automated, after earned a lot of speculations and issues on the older way of poll system which brought to war between opponents because of the issue on cheating fraud. That is what the COMELEC is currently pursuing, to make the 2010 POLL fully automated.


Will this plan prosper?

I stand for Automated Election.

Why go for automated election??


There is no other way of having a quick and reliable elections than having it fully automated. Though it requires big budgetary requirements but the benefits of it are essential to the government. The Automated Election System (AES) uses appropriate technology which has been demonstrated in the voting, counting, consolidating, canvassing, and transmission of election results, and other electoral process. Since the system makes use of ballots, and also considering the fact that it is already familiar to most members of the electorate, this system was recommended as the most suitable for the Philippine setting. With the use of centralized counting centers, a ballot counter could be assigned to count the ballots from several precincts, or even from a whole municipality, depending on the number of registered voters. In an automated system, counting will no longer be done by the Board of Election Inspectors (BEI). In an OMR system, the paper ballots will be brought to a central counting center where they will be fed into a counting machine and print out election returns. In a DRE system, the voting machines will count the votes stored in its internal memory and print out election returns. See? how effecient is the proposal of the automation, everyone is relatind to it and having their good comments regarding the auotmation process. However, I have my own sentiments regarding the late response of the authorities regarding the older system of elections.

For me, it is a late response in the side of the COMELEC to realize the current demand of the public which is to provide structured and peaceful elections. The country has been addressing the thousands of problems regarding the WHOLE electoral process of the country.

The addressed problem regarding the Manual system of election highlighted the disadvantages of a manual system of election; from the process of casting of votes to canvassing of the results of the elections. The nation braced itself as it witnessed one of the slowest canvassing of the results made in May 2004 elections. It was readily apparent that the nation would stand to benefit from an Automated Election System. Sectors considered this system of election an end to end solution with the ordinary way of election system, however some body find it as cheating paraphernalia. Whatever it is, as far as I know the proposal seeks to provide the flexibility on execution of the automated election system, as it consider the budgetary requirements, manpower requirements, peace and order situation and other concerns. The end desired of the proposal is to assure the credibility and transparency of the whole electoral activities of the country.

Many people said that transparency in the automated election was gone; for as people feed the machine with their votes it automatically secure a printed election return without knowing that it is properly counted by the machine. Unlike with the older system, the transparency was there; public reading of votes in front of watchers and citizens, tallying and manual preparation of election returns was that it was visible. However, as claimed by the COMELEC that the machine will be opened for source codes inspection, for the people to understand that the machine is not capable for any cheating fraud. When we say fraud it includes crime, civil law violation or deceptive conduct designed to manipulate another person to give something of value. Therefore that it has been assured that it will not cause any discrepancies in the future.
Issues came out lately, that SMARTMATIC withdrawn in partnership with TIM or Total Information and Management Incorporation. According to Commission on Elections there were just differences between the two companies that need to be settled. Recently, it seems that Total Information Management (TIM) and foreign company SMARTMATIC have settled their differences and will proceed to the planned 2010 automated election. As of the moment, facilities are already realized and introduced to the public. Therefore, the plan for making the 2010 poll fully automated is now final.

The explanatory note made by Senator Gordon should be taken into account, that the country should now adapt the modernization of the whole electoral activities of the country by way of making the election automated.

Things are on its right track. Peace, sanctity, and orderliness are the primary objective way of reforming the Philippines’ older system. This impact relate to the current demand of the country making the nation at its stable economic status which starts from a holistic 2010 elections. The long wait of reform is over for the Filipinos, but still the success depend on the people; whether it will prosper or not we really don’t know, for as long as the people will stick to its desire for a brighter future all things will just come on its way.

sources:

http://www.senate.gov.ph/lisdata/30942287!.pdf
http://business.inquirer.net/money/columns/view/20090706-214009/Automated-election-fraud
http://74.125.47.132/search?q=cache:kXM5WcKM_1kJ:www.senate.gov.ph/lisdata/25771950!.pdf definition of automated election&cd=19&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=ph
http://themindanaocurrent.blogspot.com/2008/08/automated-election-system.html

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visit my blog, just follow this link: http://www.arielserenado.blogspot.com

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Norena T. Nicdao

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PostSubject: AUTOMATED ELECTION   Thu Jul 09, 2009 12:59 pm

What is Automated Election?

As far I know, Automated Election is a system from manual counting to computerize counting in which results could be known with in 2 days or 3 days. It could minimize cheating and a so called "dagdag bawas."

How it can help our government by this system?

For me, it has a big help on the part of the government like the following factors:

- Lesser expenses to be incurred due to decrease of manpower during the election.
- To ease the tension of suspension of cheating of both parties.
- It has a big possibility to have an accurate results of the election.

By those factors I mentioned I can assure that by this new system of election or by using this new technology on 2010 election the people are expecting of a good and fair results.


About SMARTMATIC

Higher Performance through Engineering Excellence

Smartmatic is a privately-owned, multinational company that designs and deploys end-to-end, custom technology solutions to enable government agencies and large enterprises to fulfill their missions with the utmost efficiency. Founded around a core team of elite engineers who are guided by the principle of continuous improvement in process, performance and results, Smartmatic delivers unsurpassed technology to clients in four key business divisions:

- Electronic voting systems
- Intelligent and integrated security systems
- Identity registration and authentication of large population groups
- Technology research and development, and consulting.

Our concentration on these business areas over several years has given us competitive advantage and insight in each field. It has also allowed us to develop strong, long-term relationships with our customers.

Source: http://www.smartmatic.com/company/article/article/profile/

Technology Used:

A superior technological solution is the foundation of the many advantages that SAES brings you. From hard wearing voting machines to highly efficient software and intelligently engineered transmission systems, the SAES solution ensures you will always be dealing with the most advanced technology available.

Counting Devices

Our three voting machine models are virtually indestructible, 100% secure and auditable. They can be adapted readily to the specific needs of your electorate

SAES4000

- Features redundant memory to avoid possibility of information loss.
- Encrypts information and protects it with several security levels that are superior to bank standards.
- 10.4” screen designed to support multiple choice election processes.
- Special module for the disabled includes tactile remote control, earphones, sip and puff device, among others).
- Easy to transport and maintain.

SAES1800

- Over 99.99999% accurate.
- Supports any mark type, such as shaded circles (full and partial), checkmarks and/or crosses.
- The LCD display can be configured to provide real-time feedback to the voter on the choices selected.
- Supports multiple ballot layouts.
- Full ballot-level audit log of each scanned ballot.
- Low maintenance.

SAES3300

- Heavy duty construction.
-Integrated printer.
- 10.1” screen designed to support multiple choice election processes.
- Includes tactile remote control and earphones for blind voters.
- Easy to transport.
- Low maintenance.

Source: http://www.smartmatic.com/solutions/automated-election-system/single-view/article/voting-machines/

How it works:

Ease of Operation and Security

The flexibility of the SAES platform makes it possible to automate any election in accordance with the legal requirements of the governing electoral agency, the local voting customs and the socio-political factors of the host country.
We place paramount importance on the security and integrity of the entire electoral process.

That is we base our system on a series of encryption algorithms that safeguard the collection and transfer of every vote at each of the following verification points:

1.Voting receipt printed on special paper and identified with a random code to ensure the secrecy of the vote;
2.Fixed memory (internal) of every SAES machine;
3.Removable memory of every SAES machine;
4.Station tally from the voting table;
5.The electronic vote transferred to the tallying centers;
6.Electronic act transferred to the tallying centers;
7. The tallying act.
Each of these checkpoints ensures the transparency of the electoral process and together they provide the most complete guaranty available. They offer ample opportunities to pinpoint anomalies, if they occur, and early enough, to prevent them from becoming a big problem.


Source: http://www.smartmatic.com/solutions/automated-election-system/single-view/article/ease-of-operation-and-security/


Because of the development of the technology, we come up with this system in our election.


About 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.
In all its undertakings, TIM has pursued the challenge to excel. It is this intensity and dedication that enabled TIM to win accolades and recognition from its foreign technology partners every year. Consistently showing double digit growth rates in the last decade, TIM has always been counted among the country's top 1000 corporate enterprises.
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.
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.

Source: http://www.timcorp.net/main/index.php?pg=about.tim
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Jan Neil Enanoria Gador

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PostSubject: Voting Automation   Thu Jul 09, 2009 2:28 pm


Election is a procedure that allows members of an organization or community to choose representatives who will hold positions of authority within it. Elections select local, state and national government leaders, this is a chance or an opportunity for the public to decide who will govern at these levels. To others, voting is a right but for me it is a privilege. This is a chance for the people to make choices about the policies, programs, and future directions of government action and at the same time, elections promote accountability although in our country, accountability has been an issue during elections.

Automation is a system of manufacturing designed to extend performance on certain tasks that is usually done by humans, and to control sequences of operations without human intervention. Automation is also used to describe nonmanufacturing systems in which programmed or automatic devices can operate independently or nearly independently of human control. An example of nonmanufacturing automation is in the field of aviation where autopilots and automatic guidance systems are used to perform various operations much faster and better than humans, but still, machines can’t replace humans.

Currently, in the Philippines, the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) came up with an idea to automate the voting procedure of the 2010 elections to promote accountability and accuracy since accountability has been always the issue during elections. The Commission on election sought to seek the aid of automated systems so that the counting of the ballots will be done faster and more accurate than the usual and it could lessen the risk of cheating during the elections (at least they said so)

In order to achieve this goal, the Commission on Elections granted Smartmatic and its Philippine partner Total Information Management Inc. (TIM), the winning vote in their bid, to provide 80,000 vote counting machines at a cost of $152 Million. The group made a reasonable bid to be able to lease ample number of counting machines that would allow the Commission on Elections to finish the tally process in two days instead of the manual process which usually take weeks to finish. If the automation of the country’s national election pushes through, it would be the first in the Philippines and COMELEC officials hope it could promote reliability and eliminate cheating.

The automation of the election will be a big step for the Philippines to embrace IT or embrace contemporary ways of doing things by means of using technology instead of doing it in its usual manner. I personally have a positive outlook or point of view in this automation, not just because I am an IT student but because I want what’s best for my country. The Filipino people have been looking forward to a peaceful and honest election and I think that the automation could make that happen. This could be a turning point in the Philippine elections.

I personally support COMELEC’s campaign for automation because it poses many advantages. In the previous elections, voters write the names of their chosen candidates in a piece of paper and they are counted manually which is a system that is prone to cheating and often disfigured by violence. Even though after the counting of ballots have been done, winners were not known even a week after the balloting but in the new system the counting of ballots will be a lot quicker and more accurate.

However, critics/skeptics think that the automation might greatly degrade the accountability of the elections for the fact that it is a machine and it has an imbedded program so it is much easier to cheat by just tinkering the program of the machine. I think it is absurd to call such judgment because of the fact that calling such judgment greatly impacts the manufacturer of the machines and I think that no one can possibly tamper the program of the machines especially on the Election Day or prior to the election. The machines that will be used in the election is controlled by the manufacturer and COMELEC and that the only people that have access to the machines are those who are within their organizational scope or if they would have a specialist who will administer the machines. Thus, saying that if ever that the machines will be tampered those are the only people who will take the blame. I think that these people who initiated this campaign will not be the one who will break their code of ethics and try to tinker the machines for cheating. Also, this is not the first time of Smartmatic in terms of automation or electronic voting. Smartmatic has experienced administering electronic voting in other countries and 80 percent of the tally results were already available within or after six to five hours after the polls have been closed.

Smartmatic also has plans or emergency procedures in case of unwanted events. The company will be providing 40,000 technical staff nationwide that will help in administering the machines and they will be providing additional 2,200 machines to replace any of those machines in case any of the machines will be damaged or will have breakdowns. The machines will also be equipped with emergency power supply units in case there would be blackouts.

Recently, there was news about the automation being put to jeopardy because the Total Information Management Inc. which is the local partner of Smartmatic in the Philippines suddenly cut its ties with Smartmatic which gave the Filipino people and impression that the election will be done traditionally or it would be that we will go back to manual voting. There had been speculations that the government was behind the sudden withdrawal of TIM however, TIM denied this speculations and claimed that it was because of money issues. Now, TIM has reestablished their connections with Smartmatic and said that the automation of the 2010 elections will push through. Upon hearing the news about the withdrawal of TIM from Smartmatic it gave me an impression that the Filipino people would be denied of a chance to embrace the future and graze to the new era. I thought that those people who judge the automation badly are those people who have been swallowed by traditional ways and wish to stay traditional. I know that not all Filipino people are afraid to venture into the unknown and I know the people have been eager to evolve and grow and not linger into the past. Looking at the level or where the other countries are, we need to look at ourselves and think if we want to be left behind. I hope that the automation will push through and that there will be no problems that will stop it.



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sharlyn joy pines

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PostSubject: Re: Assignment 3 (Due: July 09, 2009, before 01:00pm)   Thu Jul 09, 2009 2:51 pm

AUTOMATED ELECTION REVIEWS


bounce Overview bounce



During election times and winning candidates has been announced, those who have seriously doubted the wisdom of participating in the voting exercise would say that many candidates win because of shameless cheating in the polls. Many wished to witness honest elections where there will be no flying voters, which their votes will be counted, and there would be no dagdag-bawas (adding and dropping votes). That would be realized soon starting with the 2010 polls. And that’s on account of the passage of RA 9369, or the Amended Elections Automation Law.

bounce What is automated election? Election automation refers to the use of computing technology to help conduct elections.bounce

The Filipino people nationwide and abroad have been looking forward to the upcoming National Election to be held by the year 2010 (definitely next year). Elections are especially important as indicators of civic virtue. We can see those early political advertisements in our television; we can hear those usual promises in radios and even read political issues on the newspapers. The media had been set an eye to the hottest issues surrounded by the planned of having an automated election.

bounce Security Issuesbounce

The Filipinos believed that automation can help to reduce or eliminate corruption. We agree that election automation technology is workable and key to electoral reform. Others say that it’s nearly impossible to cheat using computerized vote-counting machines unlike having a manual election where cheating can be easily committed. Also, it has been demonstrated in other democratic electoral systems that automation reduces opportunities for cheating because of less human intervention based on the experience of other election count systems, automation can eliminate fraud in reading the ballot, recording the precinct results and consolidating the municipal and provincial tallies or total. The claim that poll automation can either eliminate or substantially reduce incidents of election manipulation is based on the notion that reducing the degree of human contact with the voting process reduces fraud. Faster election returns are another attribute commonly associated with election automation..

However, that automation reduces human contact with the voting process is a dubious assumption. The labor required creating, installing, maintaining, and repair, if necessary, the required software and hardware is not factored into these calculations, yet these activities constitute significant human intervention, and therefore opportunities for fraud. Thus, creating speculations that automated election would be impossible.


bounce The Winning Bidderbounce


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.

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

But a bombshell was dropped when the local partner, Total Information Management Corp (TIM), announced its withdrawal from its partnership with Smartmatic International Inc. They are pulling out of the P11.3-billion project. Due to the withdrawal, the possibility of a manual election increased further, as Smartmatic will not have any local partner in handling the project.
Comelec Disappointments
The poll chief said it is frustrating to know that TIM is seemingly putting “personal interest” ahead of a matter of national importance. Melo asserted that the Comelec would not allow TIM to walk away easily. Melo said they are set to look at the names behind TIM to see if these people may have been influenced by groups who are against automated elections. The Netherlands-based Smartmatic, meanwhile, remains hopeful that things will be resolved with their former partner. TIM officials have refused to comment despite repeated requests and attempts by Comelec-based reporters. (S. Fabunan)



bounce Settlement has announcedbounce


It’s all about tokenism. The 60-40 joint venture basis in favor of TIM and the 90-10 working contribution. Became an issue. But basically the problem goes with the 60-40 issue. That was basically the problem we had. But everything had been discussed and it goes fine now according to Jose Mari Antuñez, head of local IT provider Total Information Management Corp.
Before the two companies reconciled on Friday to undertake the P7.2 billion project for the Commission on Elections (Comelec), Smartmatic and TIM were squabbling over “risks and liabilities”—both financially and criminally, putting the program in jeopardy.
But Smartmatic and TIM officials told the Senate that that they had patched up their differences and that they had agreed to a “neutral arbiter”—a Singaporean arbitration court—that would help resolve their conflict should they have another conflict.


bounce Blown out of proportionbounce


During the hearing, Melo rebuked Antuñez after the TIM president initially denied that TIM had pulled out from the project and that the issue had been “blown out of proportion.” Melo said that Antuñez went to him last week to tell him that “we have lost trust and confidence (with Smartmatic) and we’re withdrawing.” But Melo said he told Antuñez to fix the problem with Smartmatic and not go to him so he could be their “judge.” On questioning by Sen. Pia Cayetano, Antuñez admitted that his group and Smartmatic had “differences on risk and liability concerns” that were both “financial and criminal.” “But we have reconciled,” Antuñez said.
Token partner
It is prompted that TIM was just a “token partner.” And everything was all about tokenism. That everyone was just fooling themselves in the 60-40 percent venture when the fact is it’s not.



flower Conclusion:
flower

The discourse surrounding automated elections clearly links technology to the empowerment of civil society. The claims made for poll automation suggest that it represents a solution for the Philippines’ perennial electoral problem — cheating — that, if implemented, would ensure that all votes are counted quickly and accurately. Yet while civil society is championed by technology in this account, the nature of the link between the two is such that civil society is effectively constrained in ways beneficial to the ruling class. Election automation acknowledges, and to a certain extent, addresses the concern of the middle class to develop a positive national identity, but it not does address the economic disparity that underwrites much of the fraud taking place at election time and which, in order to be overcome, would require a radical adjustment in the expectations of the ruling class. While we believed it would be the best solution, thus, making election automation our better hope to have a better electoral reform. AJA!!!!

References:

http://bayan-natin.blogspot.com/2009/06/philippines-2010-automated-election.html
http://dlist.sir.arizona.edu/1960/01/Hegemonic_work_of_automated_election_technology__final_.pdf
http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/inquirerheadlines/nation/view/20090707-214221/Smartmatic-TIM-assure-Senate-problem-settled


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karl philip abregana

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PostSubject: Automated Election!   Thu Jul 09, 2009 9:53 pm

Fully automated 2010 elections in peril


MANILA, Philippines—The Commission on Elections may have to abandon its plan to fully automate the 2010 elections because of Congress’ delay in passing the P11.3-billion automation budget has compromised election preparations, according to Comelec Chair Jose Melo.

Melo said the Comelec is considering the idea of partially computerizing the 2010 polls as the delay in the release of the budget has considerably reduced the time to prepare for the country’s first-ever national computerized elections.

“We are really pressed for time. We are toying with the idea that it won’t be full capacity. Maybe we will automate 50 percent, not nationwide,” he said.

The Comelec had planned on fully computerizing the voting and canvassing of the 2010 presidential and national elections, as it is mandated by law.

Faster count, less fraud

Automating the process will also mean a faster count and less human intervention, which could lead to fraud, it said.

It asked Congress to pass the P11.3-billion supplemental budget for poll automation before legislators go on a break on March 6 to give the poll body ample time to prepare for the bidding for the machines.

But complaints and questions from the House of Representatives about the automation process has stalled the passage of the supplemental budget.

The Senate finance committee deferred the approval of the bill pending its final approval by the House. Both chambers are taking a month-long break beginning next week, and resume sessions on April 13.

Sen. Edgardo Angara, the finance committee chair, said it was likely Congress would pass the appropriations bill when it resumes sessions on April 13.

Malacañang on Thursday reminded legislators that President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo wants to leave automated elections as her legacy amid concerns over the delayed passage of a budget for the process.

Racing against time

Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Anthony Golez said the P11.3-billion supplemented budget for poll automation had been certified as urgent by Ms Arroyo.

Golez said that the strongest signal sent by the President to congressmen and senators to pass the measure was her certification of it as urgent.

“We hope and pray for the wisdom of Comelec and Congress to come to terms to achieve the goal,” he said.

The Comelec is racing against time to get the budget passed by April 12 so the contract can be awarded by May.

Melo said Congress should guarantee that the bill would be passed on April 13 as the poll preparations are already behind schedule.

He said there may not be enough time for the suppliers to order and configure 80,000 machines for the nationwide exercise if Congress passes the budget bill on mid-April.

The Comelec is also pessimistic that it can train enough technical people on time, the poll chief said

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.




By Kristine L. Alave, TJ Burgonio
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 06:03:00 02/27/2009

Filed Under: Eleksyon 2010, Elections, Computing & Information Technology, Congress, State Budget & Taxes, Politics




references:
http://www.jpsimbulan.com/2008/08/06/is-the-philippines-ready-for-an-automated-election-system/
http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/inquirerheadlines/nation/view/20090227-191319/Fully-automated-2010-elections-in-peril
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Ma.AnnKristineTomada

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PostSubject: Assignment 3   Fri Jul 10, 2009 5:27 pm

AUTOMATION ON 2010?

Philippine Election 2010 Computerization is one of the subject that has been discussed today. And as read articled and search the I had knew that the COMELEC has received 7 proposal from different companies with their technical and commercial offer. And now the question that I have in mind is, are we Filipinos ready for the Philippine Election 2010 Computerization?, Some may say “Yes, we can.” and some may argue that we cannot do it. But I believe that we have to make it on a level by level approach. As an example the COMELEC should implement it first with Luzon or either NCR, just to make trial for this kind of system. I don’t think it will be easy to make it in the whole country with in the remaining time which is less than a year of preparation.
I know that there are no such perfect program that cannot be hacked (we, as an IT student should already knew that.). As of this time it is still impossible to have a perfect system. But at least they can make the system with high security that it will be impossible for a hacker to do it on a specified time.
For my opinion, the government should try to do the automation and be automated. We are already in the computer stage; let’s make use of the technology for our benefits.
I would prefer to have a computerized election and counting rather than having a manual counting that will take weeks just to know the winner.
The implementation of the automated polls in 2010 will definitely make the election faster, easier and more accurate, if it done properly. However, we have yet to prove its effectiveness and efficiency upon its implementation. Thus, we need to consider some points. First, it must be implemented with safeguards against anomalies. Second is the accessibility of the technology to all. Third, the process of submission and retrieval of data must be confidential and confined to the proper officials who will cast the votes.

I may support for any type of poll automation as long as it would reduce fraud and speed up the election. Also we might prevent the manipulation of the votes. If you just think there is always a possibility of fraud in any whichever system they prefer to use, either in manual or automated elections in 2010. With automation, we will drastically minimize the impact of human intervention in the process. And the automation will definitely speed up the electoral process. Election in the precinct level counting done within an hour, at the local level are expected to come out within a day and those at the national level would be known in about two days only.

The government had already spent money for this automation project. The COMELEC has asked for Php 11.3 billion for the cost of funding this project. But how can we make this system easy to use. Many countries had gone with this kind of election system and they experience some problems implementing this. In Florida they had designed a voting machine which led to 13%not casting their vote for their desired representative. The touch-screen interface was inconsistent, leading to confusion and a phenomenon known as “banner blindness” (def. The tendency of web visitors to ignore banner ads, even when banners contain information visitors are actively seeking.).
In Finland, the lack of clear instructions and once again, a poorly designed process led to 232 voters (out of 12,234) not finishing the voting process. These voters failed to notice that they had to “validate” their votes after making their picks.
These numbers may not seem significant. But if you’re running a nationwide election, with millions of votes to process, these errors will increase in scale. Imagine the situation here in the Philippines, as election sore losers and naysayers have yet another reason to keep the new officials from simply getting down to business.

Although, we automate the elections it does not mean all problems on manual system will go away. However, if we look at the experience of the United States and other countries who automated their elections, the old problem still persists and new problem crop up. An election watchdog has urged the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to conduct an audit of the results of the August 11 poll in the Autonomous Region for Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), which is the first to be automated in the history of the COMELEC. They said the use of optical mark readers (OMR) and direct recording electronic (DRE) voting machines in the ARMM election does not guarantee an error-free electoral exercise.
Errors in automated elections systems :
Machine problems cited in the EIRS database include uninitialized machines, uncounted/lost votes, candidates/choices reverses, contests not counted, wrong winner comes out, voting more than once, votes exceeding total number of voters, negative votes and unauthorized software replacement. Also software errors, hardware errors, environmental stresses, human errors, poor/flawed design and even malicious tampering could account for the persistence of errors in automated elections systems.
• Uninitialized machines - meant voting machines failed to produce "zero count" printouts when the polling places opened. This is the electronic equivalent of ballot boxes stuffed with ballots even before the voting has started
• Uncounted/lost votes - votes were simply "lost" or uncounted while in some cases, whole contests were not being counted.

To minimize errors in the actual count, vendors (such as Smartmatic-SAHI) should use technology to enhance the transparency of the counting process by printing hard copies of the election returns. Precinct results should be posted on the Internet while maintaining the public count at the precinct level.
COMELEC should consider using double-entry accounting methods for election tallies, which is usually used by businesses to balance its books. He said using double-entry accounting methods during elections would be more expensive and time-consuming but would also allow post-election auditing and help authorities detect canvassing fraud more easily.
Automation will minimize problems usually encountered during elections, it does not guarantee a fraud-free election. More than a technological problem, election fraud is really a social problem and therefore calls for social solutions, supported by technological means. The only effective social solution to fraud in elections is eternal vigilance and punishment for the cheats.
I really up to us if this coming automated election would work. We also need to cooperate for us to secure our votes are counted!


Reference:
http://www.ask.com/bar?q=automation+of+election+in+philippnes&page=1&qsrc=0&ab=1&u=http%3A%2F%2Ftechnogra.ph%2F20090303%2Fsections%2Feditorial%2Fhow-the-philippines-can-in-lead-election-automation%2F
http://www.marketingterms.com/dictionary/banner_blindness/
http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/special-report/08/07/08/lesson-armm-polls-new-problems-accompany-election-automation
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Michael George Guanzon

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PostSubject: assignment 3   Sat Jul 11, 2009 2:20 am

How the Philippines Can in Lead Election Automation?

If the Philippine government ever gets down to automating elections in the Philippines, it has a chance to show the rest of the world how to do it. That’s because there’s already a lot of established “wisdom”, and the mistakes of other countries to learn from.

Ready for 2010?

In short, by looking from the mistakes of other countries, 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.
Unfortunately, since the need for testing is crucial—unless you consider chaos on Election Day acceptable—a properly automated election system may not be ready by 2010. Yet no matter how clear the benefits of automated elections are for Philippine politics, it’s more important to get things right the first time. That’s much better than coming out with a system that will provide election automation critics with more ammunition.


Automated 2010 Elections, all set

The Commission on Elections, after a month long bidding, will award the P11.3 billion contract for the automation of 2010 elections probably this week.
Comelec’s Special Bids and Awards Committee (SBAC) chairman Ferdinand Rafanan said they will make the SBAC report and its recommendation to the Commission en banc. The awarding of contract will be upon the decision of the en banc whether they will approve it or not.
“We are all systems go for 2010 poll automation,” Rafanan added.
The SBAC will make a recommendation for Smartmatic-Total Information Management, the bidder capable for the 2010 automation project.
The SBAC Technical Working Group did the technical evaluation and finished them last Saturday.
Smartmatic-TIM consortium successfully passed all 26 technical criteria, however, there are still few documents that must be verified for post qualification of eligibility of documents.
In terms of figures, Smartmatic-TIM only bid for P7.191 billion, P4 billion below the total contract amount.
“The P4 billion will go to Comelec savings. Those are only figures and will only be disposed by the Department of Budget and Management for approved projects,” said Rafanan.

The Advantages of Voting Online or automated election

* Saved Ballot Templates eliminate the need to configure elections from scratch. Just do it once, then save that ballot configuration, and in subsequent years, specify only the names of the candidates.

* Reduced costs are enjoyed when the expenses of printing and mailing paper ballots are lessened or even eliminated.

* Email Solicitation adds value by soliciting an email address from voters without one already on record.

* Email Reminders helps increase voter participation by reminding those who’ve not voted to do so.

* Email Validation brings added value to your online election ensuring the validity of your voters’ email addresses.

* Ballot Scrubbing ensures no ballot is spoiled due to anything not in compliance with your voting rules.

* Ballot Shuffling randomly orders the candidates’ names on each request of the ballot so all candidates get a fair chance at prime name placement on the ballot. Shuffling may be enabled on some positions and not others.

* On-demand Paper Ballots simplify hybrid elections by allowing an election administrator to generate a voter-specific paper ballot that honors all the election settings just as web ballots do.

* Automated Tallying removes human fallibility from the tabulation and delivers the results within seconds of the close of the election.

* Comprehensive Reporting instantly provides you with informative day-by-day statistics about your election beyond just who won, demonstrated at the Sample Election Results page.

* Archived Election Results means all previous election results are readily available without having to dig through old records.

* Ability to correct mistakes allows candidate selections to be altered prior to final ballot submission.

The Disadvantages of having an Automated Election

Tallying is done at the city/municipal level. Ballot boxes leave precincts without voters knowing results at the precinct level
• Ballot box switching is possible

• Tallying is internal and voters will not be able to trace to the source

• There may be cases where more entries are marked in a ballot than are allowed. It will be difficult to fairly resolve issues arising from this situation.

• On the other hand, there may also be cases when there are less markings on the ballot. It is very easy to add markings in such cases.

• To achieve high quality readability, it is currently required that the ballot paper be of thicker substance and should not be folded. This means new ballot boxes will need to be designed and produced, adding to the cost.


My opinion on automated election this coming 2010:



Having this Automated Election this coming 2010 has advantages and disadvantages. Automated election could somehow help the smoothen the process of the election and easier and not so complicated when it comes to vote counting. It will ensure faster results than the manual counting thus winners will be proclaimed in less than a time. The Proposal for having an automated election is good in the sense that is fast and accurate.
It will be easier to determine who will be put in the position. It will also be an advantage on the part of voters because the voting system is organized. It will also bring out the result faster. And automated election will decrease fraud and more or les other forms of stealing and buying votes. But it has also its disadvantages; it is very costly because service provider here in invests a lot to insure that this technology will really work. It will also create hard work for government to send and pay people to of course educate people on how to participate and use this kind of election process and it’s not that easy. Because not all of Filipino voters are engaged and introduced to computer technology. This will not also ensure 100 percent accuracy and righteous counting of votes because there is still human intervention in this process.


References:

http://electionwatch.ph/
http://www.electionsonline.us/advantages.htm
http://www.transparentelections.ph/site/content/view/19/38/
http://technogra.ph/20090303/sections/editorial/how-the-philippines-can-in-lead-election-automation/



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Karen Palero

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PostSubject: Re: Assignment 3 (Due: July 09, 2009, before 01:00pm)   Sat Jul 11, 2009 9:36 am

Your thoughts on automated elections with reference to the current situation.

Before I react, let me just recall how did this issue regarding automated elections start and the procedures done before Smartmatic/TIM won the bid.

The bidding...

Last March 11, 2009 the Comelec en banc approved the Terms of Reference/Request for Proposal (TOR/RFP) for the Solutions, Terms and Conditions for the 2010 poll automation.

TOR/RFP documents contain the Comelec's policies, requirements and technical specifications which prospective bidders will need in order to prepare their bids. TOR/RFP documents come with a P1 million price tag, a non-refundable fee to be paid by interested bidders.

Later on March 30, 2009, the Comelec Special Bids and Awards Committee (SBAC) held a pre-bid conference for the 2010 automation project. The conference was an opportunity for the prospective bidders to seek clarification on any part of the bid documents. At the time of the pre-bid conference, 10 firms have already purchased the TOR/RFP, and among those is Smartmatic/TIM. In fact, Smartmatic/TIM is one of the companies who were first to procure bid documents.

By June 23, 2009 SBAC submitted to the Comelec en banc its report recommending the award of the 2010 poll automation contract to Smartmatic/TIM. Smartmatic/TIM passed all the eligibility, technical and financial requirements. According to SBAC, the consortium had the "lowest calculated responsive bid": P7,191,484,739.48 (well within the approved budget for the contract -- P11,223,618,400.00). Later on, Comelec en banc approved the SBAC's recommendation and SBAC issued a notice of award to Smartmatic/TIM. About Smartmatic and 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. These two corporations entered into a joint venture on April 23, 2009.

The dispute...

Before the month of June ends TIM had pulled out its partnership with Smartmatic . An information had leaked that it is due to corporate issues between Smartmatic and TIM ranging from the chairmanship of the board to funding disputes.

Malacañang appealed to Smartmatic and TIM to immediately resolve their differences because it is interfering COMELEC's internal affair. Besides, if Smartmatic and TIM wasn't able to patch things up they could have faced charges for violating Republic Act 9184, the "Act Providing for the Modernization, Standardization and Regulation of the Procurement Activities of the Government and For Other Purposes."

So, just last July 3, 2009, after their 3- hour meeting Comelec chairman Jose Melo said that the two companies had agreed to be 'held liable severally and jointly' as a joint venture entity if they fail to provide services in accordance with the contract.

My reaction...

Whenever I hear the word 'automated' what immediately goes in my mind are 'technology' and 'fast'. I felt so excited when I first heard that our country will have an automated election on the year 2010. Well, I think it is time for our country to change the election system. Having an automated election will make the election process, such as voting and counting of votes, faster than the manual election.

The system should user-friendly that during the operation a computer literate person won't be of need anymore. Because if it is not user-friendly then it will defeat the definition of technology which is made to finish or do things faster. There is a minimal human intervention during the counting of votes that means the 'sabotage' is unlikely to happen. Besides the Smartmatic/TIM , I think, already know that there should really be a security code embedded inside the machine sealed against human intervention. But if during the election a power interruption or power shortage happen, can the system sustain it? Or worst, what if the system itself will have some errors DURING the election? Well, I think it should be one of the features of the system -- to be able to work without electricity.


Sources:
www.igma.tv
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mae m. mara

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PostSubject: Re: Assignment 3 (Due: July 09, 2009, before 01:00pm)   Sat Jul 11, 2009 12:28 pm

AUTOMATION or MANUAL???
Which do you prefer?
Let’s have some point of views of our countrymen about this news.
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.

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



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


These are just the headlines I read as browses the internet about the updates of automated election in the Philippines. First thing came up in my mind as I heard about the news is that I was relief thinking that today that corruption is around the country, I can say that let the technology be our guide in making the election fair. Hard to say but automated is better than manual counting of ballots.
Automated Election System is a system using appropriate technology for voting and electronic devices to count votes and canvass or consolidate results. A counting machine used an optical scanning or mark—senses reading device or any similar advanced technology to count ballots.
According from Philippines REPUBLIC ACT NO. 8436 with the declaration of its policy Section 1 that 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.
In my own perception, Philippines must implement the automated election to secure the votes of the citizens. In this way, the unchanged election in the Philippines for how many decades will have a credible election system.
Instead of writing on ballots, voters will shade the spaces allotted for the names of candidates. The ballots will then be inserted into the optical machine readers to be placed in clustered precincts all over the country. Unlike from the traditional election system the tendency of cheating will be monitored because of the modern technologies. Let’s make a difference in our success.
Why not take the risk anyway?
Let’s make a change for our new generation.
Fairly and righteous.
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AlyssaRae Soriano

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PostSubject: Re: Assignment 3 (Due: July 09, 2009, before 01:00pm)   Sat Jul 11, 2009 6:06 pm

Automated Election: Are we ready?

The Malacañang's Department of Budget and Management produce the P11.9 billion supplemental budget for this coming election which will be automated. Christian Monsod has been explaining how the Open Election System method of automation works.

“Monsod stressed that the proposed OES-based automated election system, combined with an optical mark recognition (OMR) technology, could cost government about P8 billion for the equipment and operations. If Comelec prefers getting the OES automated election system alone, it will cost around P4 billion."

And he added that "The choice of automation technology and its successful implementation is key to the credibility of the elections."

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

Manual V.S. Automated

In manual voting, each of the positions are simply printed, with an underlined space on which the voter writes his choices. 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. Go figure how this can be done.
In the manual system official ballot, the fonts used are probably 24. In the automated system, will they use font 8? That will make it extremely difficult for senior citizens with poor eyesight, and worse for those who have not been properly initiated into the new system, as in the country’s hinterlands and islands where the Comelec’s “massive” information program may not connect. The ridiculous alternative is to use large font, but that would make the ballot as long as two meters.

REFERENCES:
http://www.lawphil.net/statutes/repacts/ra2007/ra_9369_2007.html
http://hubpages.com/hub/Automated-Election-Are-we-ready
http://technogra.ph/20090303/sections/editorial/how-the-philippines-can-in-lead-election-automation/
http://technogra.ph/20090622/sections/editorial/why-the-2010-election-automation-is-a-disaster-waiting-to-happen/
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JerusalemAlvaira



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PostSubject: Views and opinions on Automated elections   Sun Jul 12, 2009 7:26 am

The Philippine Automated Elections

In my own definition, election is an act of choosing competent individuals to serve and not to rule in formal office. The May 2010 elections will be one of the critical yet historical events in the Philippines simply because this said event will bring a major change in our country for the reason that this will end not all but some of the corrupt incumbent officials’ regime in the government. It was Senator Richard Gordon who crafted the Republic Act 9369 or the amended Automated Elections System Law which begun on July 24, 2006.

I took this statement from philippinestoday.net posted on July 14, 2006:

“The cheating happens when people are tired from watching the vote, and when the count slows down. By automating the process, the counting will be instantaneous and the results transmitted immediately at the end of the voting day, straight from the precinct to the world. This is how we will stop the cheating and protect our democracy,” Gordon said.

I took another statement of Senator Gordon from the Senate of The Philippines press release in August 11, 2008:

"We have worked hard for the Automated Elections Law. We had hoped it would be tested last 2007 elections, but it didn't happen. Now, we're just a few hours away from witnessing a new system of elections. This is not just a historical event for our country, but a crucial one. Isinulong ko ang batas na ito para sa susunod na eleksyon sa 2010, patas na ang laban. Wala na ang dayaan at dahas. Wala na ang mga dagdag-bawas at cash-unduan. Elected officials can now hold their head up high because they know they are the true leaders chosen by the people. The populace will have confidence in their leaders because they were voted through a credible system of elections," Gordon said.

The technologies that will be used in the system are Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) voting machine and Optical Mark Reader (OMR). The Optical Mark Reader is a machine that reads and documents the poll results. The Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) voting machine records the votes by use of a ballot image and is being activated by the user. The results will then be stored in two ways: as a data in the memory and as a printed copy of the tabulation. This type of technology will be able to produce the results faster than the usual manual elections that the Philippines have and this voting machine will help you minimize time and cost in ballot printing and transporting. The very first automated election happened last August 11, 2008 on the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM). The election served as a test for a much bigger event – full automation of the 2010 Presidential elections.

Here is a bit of news I read about the lessons learned from the ARMM automated elections from Lesson for the ARMM polls: New problems accompany election automation written by By DAVID DIZON/abs-cbnNEWS.com | 08/07/2008 4:02 PM:

Roberto Verzola, secretary-general of election watchdog Halalang Marangal, said the use of optical mark readers (OMR) and direct recording electronic (DRE) voting machines in the ARMM election does not guarantee an error-free electoral exercise.

"Everyone thinks that if we automate the elections, then all our problems will go away. However, if you look at the experience of the United States and other countries who have automated their elections, the old problems still persist and new problems crop up," he said during a forum at the Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement headquarters in Quezon City.

I agree to Mr. Roberto Verzola’s statement regarding the inaccuracy of optical mark readers (OMR) and direct recording electronic (DRE) voting machines. These types of machines cannot totally eradicate the election fraud. When I heard the news about automated election in the Philippines, two words came into my mind, “inside job”, in contrast to what Senator Gordon stated. That is because, I have this impression that I live in the country of political thieves and we have a lot of public officials who easily fool the people and stage-manage the situations as if nothing controversial has ever happened, not to mention President Gloria Macapagal – Arroyo and her cronies. When it comes to automated election issues, we never know, source codes are being manipulated by the people in position. There may be transparencies in the development of the code, but it does not actually mean that what they will be showing the public is the truth. In the technical side, computers are not always “bug” free and that it could always have a system malfunction and procedural miscalculation no matter how many times it underwent error checking and testing before being implemented. Simple things like these can somehow affect the results of the poll.

I cited some issues or problems that the COMELEC or let us just say, the Philippines will have to overcome before the elections or might have to undergo during this critical event. First, there are some rural or urban areas in some or most of the provinces in the Philippines are up until now, do not have access to electricity. Second, we have what we call illiteracy and third, we have the safe transportation of the machines to the voting precincts. Even though an election is automated, still, some old problems will occur. We have corruption, vote-buying, fly voting and the worst of all, violence.

Senator Richard Gordon’s statements show his pride on this automated election system which would somehow make the people confident in using the modern technology in the coming 2010 Presidential elections. I doubt that what he stated, “…patas na ang laban. Wala na ang dayaan at dahas. Wala na ang mga dagdag-bawas at cash-unduan.”, will really happen in the coming election. I, as a Filipino citizen, do not go against the automated election system. The real world problem is not actually the machine or the software to be used but it is in each and every one of us. It may somehow lessen the probability of cheating, vote buying and fly voting, but the best thing for us to do is to become vigilant and be honest to have a 100% faster, fair and honest elections!

References:
http://bayan-natin.blogspot.com/2009/06/whats-worry-over-a
http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/nation/07/10/09/two-former-justices-refined-automation-contract
http://services.inquirer.net/mobile/09/07/01/html_output/xmlhtml/20090630-213069-xml.html
http://www.senate.gov.ph/press_release/2008/0811_gordon1.asp
http://bayan-natin.blogspot.com/2009/06/philippine-automated-election-update.html
http://www.senate.gov.ph/press_release/2008/0811_gordon1.asp
http://www.philippinestoday.net/index.php?module=article&view=47
http://www.senate.gov.ph/press_release/2009/0311_gordon1.asp
http://www.lawphil.net/statutes/repacts/ra2007/ra_9369_2007.html
http://www.mindanews.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=blogsection&id=41&Itemid=301
http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/breakingnews/infotech/view/20080513-136300/Computer-group-assesses-planned-ARMM-automated-elections
http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/breakingnews/infotech/view/20080513-136300/Computer-group-assesses-planned-ARMM-automated-elections
http://www.votetrustusa.org/pdfs/CRSDREReport.pdf
http://www.ifes.org/publication/de870bce4b39339d89a3469c8de3a0a0/1%20IFES%20Challenging%20Election%20Norms%20and%20Standards%20WP%20ELVOT.pdf
http://microlab.uwyo.edu/Documentation/OMR/default.htm
http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/nation/07/04/09/tim-president-ended-cool-smartmatic-save-firm
http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/special-report/08/07/08/lesson-armm-polls-new-problems-accompany-election-automation



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felix a. sumalinog jr.

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PostSubject: Re: Assignment 3 (Due: July 09, 2009, before 01:00pm)   Sun Jul 12, 2009 11:10 am

My thoughts on automated elections with reference to the current situation

The past manually-done Philippine elections rely heavily on manual tallying and canvassing of votes. This kind of election makes the processes vulnerable to control and manipulation by traditional politicians and those with vested interests. As I have searched from www.inquirer.net, I saw the basic problems afflicting electoral system. And these are (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). Filipinos are so sick and tired of this manual process of election. And, I do not want to hear another Hello Garci Scandal this coming election.

I hope automated Philippine election will happen in 2010 election 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. With recent settlement of differences between Smartmatic and TIM, this is for the betterment of the country. Filipino people have been desiring for automated elections for the past four decades. I hope the reconciliation is genuine so that we have an election system in 2010 that has integrity, security, and veracity. I hope this project of government is not another fraudulent deal like the Mega Pacific contract. Related to this event, the two companies, Smartmatic and TIM agreed to consult a Singaporean neutral arbiter should disagreements arise or to submit to a Singaporean court that would apply commercial arbitration rules, in case of a disagreement in the future. This development is good for the country to solidify the full automation of 2010 election.

With the recent news this week, this 2010 Election will hire almost 80 T nformation technology (IT) people who will assist the Comelec in conducting the automated election and to handle the voting machines. This is a big help in terms of financial aspect to all techiguys in a short period of time. And, it will be great experience for them to serve the country and countrymen in an information technology way.

Truly, our election needs more than an automated election. The Election Code must 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:
INQUIRER.net
My Blog: jhunix1@blogspot


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emilio jopia jr.



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PostSubject: |Automated Election in 2010   Mon Jul 13, 2009 10:43 am

My Views and Opinions on Automated Election in 2010…

The 2010 election is fast approaching, as an IT student and a citizen of the Philippines,
I or should I say we should be aware of the present issue concerning about the
Automation of the 2010 Election in our country. We should be concern about it because in the
election it is our opportunity or chance to choose our leaders that will govern our nation.

An automated election was proposed by Senator Richard Gordon and officially amended by
Republic Act 9369 or the amended Automated Election System. 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.

The Winning Bidders

Special Bids and Awards Committee (SBAC) called for bidding for the automation project with a Php 11.3 billion budget.
The two corporation the Smartmatic and Total Information Management Corp. win the bidding of the 2010
election among the seven which have been chosen before. The Smartmatic -Total Information Management Corp.
joint venture beat several other companies with a bid of only Php 7.21 billion to secure the contract. S
ome conflicts also came out among the two but then are resolved.

Smartmatic International Corp. (Smartmatic)
- Smartmatic is a multinational company that specializes in the design and end-to-end deployment of complex
purpose-specific technology solutions. With an unsurpassed technology base, continuous innovation, and quality in
processes and results, Smartmatic is organized around three business areas: Electronic voting systems, intelligent
and integrated security systems for large enterprises and governments, and advanced solutions for people registration
and authentication for a wide range of government applications.

Total Information Management Corp. (TIM)
-provides information technology solutions to corporations. It offers outsourcing services, such as
business process outsourcing, offshore data center operations, managed network services, telecommunication
services, and call center services; business continuity services; technology solutions, such as supplying recertified
and refurbished IBM mainframes and peripheral equipment; and engineering and maintenance services.
The company was founded in 1985 and is headquartered in Makati City, the Philippines.

How reliable can the automated election system be?

Comelec claims that the AES (automated election system) cannot be hacked and that the source code will be
open for inspection. These are good for Comelec’s PR efforts, but they do not make automated elections safe
from fraud. In fact, they are smoke screens that cover the real areas where fraud can take place. I
n computing, the term is used in a wider sense to mean using software for enjoyment or self-education,
not necessarily involving unauthorized access.
Hacking is not the problem and, therefore, spending time and money to prevent hacking is not very useful.
If only outsiders would rob you in your home then having grilled windows, special locks, alarms, etc. will ensure your safety.
But if you live in the company of thieves, you can still be robbed. That is what the police refer to as an “inside job.”
The greatest danger of fraud in the 2010 computerized elections will come from insiders in Comelec and computer
vendors, not from outsiders.
In a recent meeting of the Management Association of the Philippines Election Automation subcommittee,
with former Customs and BIR Commissioner Guillermo Parayno, has been asked whether his agencies had ever been hacked.
His answer was no, any intrusions were always by insiders.

Source code inspection

The other point Comelec likes to stress is that the source code of the OMR counting machines will be available for
inspection by computer experts. Looking at the source code is practically useless.
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. This does
not have to be done on all machines.If done on even just 10 percent of the OMR machines, a
tight race may be reversed in favor of those who are cheating.
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.

Go for Automated Election on 2010…

It is interesting that while it was said that the slow transmission and canvassing in the old manual system
created many opportunities for fraud, in the new automated system, very fast transmission and canvassing
in 2010 may lead to massive fraud, frustrating the true votes of our nation. Comparing to the old system
to the this new system is a way for creating a possibilities of a more comprehensive, fast, counting of
votes which is essential in the voting system. Although we could not deny the fact that there is a tendency
of cheating and other underground moves of some officials, compared to the old system this more efficient and fast.

Using the Automated Election we could save time, energy and even money mainly because in all aspect of the election
processes the government basically could lessen the expenses because the system is easy and convenient for the voters.

REFERENCES:
http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/inquirerheadlines/nation/view/20090306-192592/All-go-for-automated-elections-in-2010
http://www.jpsimbulan.com/2008/08/06/is-the-philippines-ready-for-an-automated-election-system/
http://www.nowpublic.com/world/2010-philippine-automated-election-jeopardy
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athina alorro

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PostSubject: Re: Assignment 3 (Due: July 09, 2009, before 01:00pm)   Mon Jul 13, 2009 2:02 pm

My views will concentrate on the field which I can mostly relate to which is the IT issues concerning the automated election.

Let’s first define automation.
According to Microsoft Encarta 2008 dictionary, automation means the replacement of human workers or a system in which a workplace or process has been converted to one that replaces or minimizes human labor with mechanical or electronic equipment.

For the first time in the Philippine Electoral history, an automated election system will be implemented next year.
And If you would ask me, I think it’s about time.

Since the Smartmatic and Total Information Management Corporation (TIM) have resolved their differences, the focus now concentrated on the preparations for the incoming election.

In regards with the 2010 election, there have been a lot of issues that has emerged ever since the Smartmatic-TIM consortium has been chosen as the partner of COMELEC on the automation for the next year’s election.

With only less than a year to prepare, there have been issues that have been specifically addressed by the IT community that concerns about the automated election system and I will give my opinion on some of them.

Can the Automated Election System (AES) be hacked?

Well for me, anything is possible in the realm of possibilities. On the context of hacking, I think all of us are aware that before we could hack a certain system you should have some knowledge about the inner programs or workings of the system you want to hack. There has been a debate whether to expose the code used by the Smartmatic-TIM to the public for scrutiny and expose the vulnerabilities of the code to computer security experts .
In my opinion, exposing the code to the public is a very serious security mistake. We are all aware that the more exposed any system is the more vulnerable it is from hacking. In a layman’s point of view, the more people look at it, the more people will know how to cheat the system.

Machine Vulnerability

As I watched the Reporter’s Notebook episode last Tuesday about the 2010 automated election, they mentioned that one of the Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines that was tested emitted smoke during the standard machine testing evaluation. The Smartmatic claimed that the problem was not due to machine failure but rather a human error. They added that one of the people who tested the machine accidentally pulled out some wires that should not be pulled that caused the machine to emit smoke.
This notion appalled me because the concept that the machines may accidentally or intentionally be broken may cause to lose all the votes that have been casted on the machine. This could be a serious problem that should be addressed by the COMELEC and Smartmatic-TIM.

The use of removable memory..

Here's an excerpt from an article from THIS website
“..Smartmatic’s “newer model” has similar features with this machine – with one crucial difference: the proprietary security and counting software would no longer be housed and secured inside the machine itself, but contained in a removable memory card that would be in the custody of members of the Board of Election Inspectors (BEI), according to Ramon Casiple, chairman of the Consortium on Electoral Reforms (CER) which is also a member of the CAC.”

In my opinion, having the proprietary security and counting software on a removable memory such as a flash drive or a memory disk is a very dangerous security risk. It is a risk in a sense that having the important software outside the machine itself will make more vulnerable for alterations compared when it is on the machine itself where it is much harder to modify.

Pricey Pens and Modems..

Here is an excerpt on an article from the THIS site..
“ .. Apart from ballot-counting machines, the package also comes with high-powered servers for storing and canvassing votes, laptop computers and workstations for monitoring the data, printers for the paper trail, digital security cards, modems for data transmission, and even pens for marking ballots.
.. The modems, which retail for less than P2,500 in the market, are listed by TIM-Smartmatic at two to three times that price. At more than 50,000 units, the discrepancy comes out to an apparent overpricing of more than P320 million.“


Other people may say that 7B budget for the election is just a small price to pay for the most anticipated automation for 2010 election but having a discrepancy of over 320 million for modems alone? Are you freaking kidding me?! It is definitely a lot of money just to be given to the pockets of Smartmatic-TIM. This is clearly a corruption that is in front of our faces. This amount of money can be used to other meaningful things such as payment for manpower. What really bothers me is what does the COMELEC say to this? How could they allow this such anomaly when they are using the money of the people? It is really a shame if they allowed this.

Comelec to tap 80,000 IT people for 2010 elections

Here’s an excerpt from an article from gmanews.tv

“..With the obstacles to poll automation for the 2010 elections almost all cleared, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) is now looking for information technology (IT) people to handle the voting machines.
Comelec Commissioner Rene Sarmiento on Thursday said at least 80,000 IT personnel are needed to assist board of elections inspectors (BEIs) in the forthcoming polls.

He explained that the Comelec is allowed to tap IT-capable persons to be present in each precinct during Election Day.
Only those accredited by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) would be tapped, he added. Sarmiento said the mechanics of tapping IT people will be up for discussion at the Comelec very soon.”
( Source: gmanews.tv)

In my opinion, it is just right that Comelec should seek the help of IT people to help in handling the voting machines.
It is a fact that some of the Board of Election Inspectors (BEI) are not familiar with the new technology that will be used in the election and may have problems dealing with the machines to be used that can cause delay of the election process. But the question is can the government really provide those number of man power during the election? I sure hope so.

This is just one of the evidences that the IT field is a fast growing industry and is now playing a big role in our community.
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Anthony Rigor Aguilar

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PostSubject: Assignment 3   Mon Jul 13, 2009 2:10 pm

ASSIGNMENT 3: Your thoughts on automated elections with reference to the current situation.

Automation is the use of control systems (such as numerical control, programmable logic control, and other industrial control systems), in concert with other applications of information technology (such as computer-aided technologies [CAD, CAM, CAx]), to control industrial machinery and processes, reducing the need for human intervention. In the scope of industrialization, automation is a step beyond mechanization. Whereas mechanization provided human operators with machinery to assist them with the physical requirements of work, automation greatly reduces the need for human sensory and mental requirements as well. Processes and systems can also be automated.
Automation plays an increasingly important role in the global economy and in daily experience. Engineers strive to combine automated devices with mathematical and organizational tools to create complex systems for a rapidly expanding range of applications and human activities.
Wikipedia

All I know about the automated elections is making the election process with the computer intervention. The voters will use a computer or machine that is programmed, and the selections are available to which they shall vote. In that case Pens and paper forms are never needed by the voter during the election.

For me automation will be helpful for us Filipinos because these will make the election process easy and time saving. Automation will only be successful if the COMELEC will introduce the said process very well to the public and educated us about the said process.

But there is still a problem about the literacy rate here in the Philippines. According to the previous reports, 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 all know that education is the only way for us to improve our lives. Education will lead us to a level of something that we can compete with other nations and help our country to improve, and bring pride for the future generations. But how can we reach our goals if number of our brothers and sisters are not educated. In other countries education is their priority. But why the government is not serious in making this investment possible.

I don’t know what happened on our government’s plan on the computerized or automated election in Autonomous Region in Muslin Mindanao (ARMM) scheduled on August 11, 2008. 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.” But the reports said it was being threatened by the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). Did the threat cause the unsuccessful automation? I also heard the news that there was a conspiracy that is why the automation is not successful. The reports said that 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.

Another issue is the reliability, how reliable can the computerized election will be? Is the software in the machines are properly tested and proven before it will be deployed during the election period? We all know that computer system is subject to piracy, unauthorized access, and anything about electronic is easier to falsify. I am concerned with the level of security of this process. Will the government have the ability enough to protect the computerized election? The machine itself, does it have the feature to protect itself from anonymous access and unauthorized manipulation. This issue is not different in other countries having a problem with automated or computerized election. Will the said automation will eliminate the “dagdag-bawas” in election result. Or, the automation is the way for the incompetent to fake the election returns.

Philippine Election on the year 2010 is fast approaching. The question is are we ready for the said computerization? Is there enough time to automate the 2010 elections? Will be the Filipinos be ready for the said automation? Can the automation make changes? Can the automation lead to better results? Many COMELEC officials have risked their lives and others have died in the service during the election and still there is no change in the system and the management of our country. And many of the Filipinos are not satisfied with the repeated results of election. It is not the automation is the problem; it is the system and the people handling the system. The system is still corrupt, corrupted by the people sitting on their desk and still doing nothing. Nothing can substitute the lives that have been lost. Despite the efforts of the COMELEC officials to bring the result safe and sound, automation will not be successful if the voters are being threatened by the incompetent candidates of losers because the machines only accept and record the answers and provides results, it does not analyze.

The government must ensure the machines is working well before the election and give extra security and transparency will make the election more reliable.

The government must be in charge in educating all of us Filipinos, enabling us to read and write could help the election more reliable and to ensure the answers are coming from the understanding of the voter before clicking the machine.

Protect the citizens and respect their decision to vote will make a change.

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

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