Distrust in PCOS machines-A A +A
Tuesday, February 5, 2013
POLL watchdog Kontra Daya warned the mock polls conducted Saturday in 20 voting centers in 10 areas in the country by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) have the same glitches observed during the 2010 elections.
Comelec has not learned from the 2010 elections, an IT expert in the poll watchdog said.
These precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines still have to earn Kontra Daya’s trust.
Comelec Chair Sixto Brillantes Jr. shrugged off fears that the poll body is not ready for another automated balloting.
“They know that mock elections are never perfect,” Brillantes said.
Yes Sir, even actual elections are not perfect, except in areas where the elections are over before the balloting starts.
Brillantes said the “minor glitches” can be corrected before the May 13 midterm elections.
“While we find fault in the system to fix these things, these critics are finding fault to attack us,” he said.
But he has a ready alternative if the election watchdog doesn’t like the PCOS: go back to manual count because “it’s too late for us to order a new technology.”
People’s distrust in the PCOS machines is not entirely baseless.
According to computer experts, the only people possessing factual knowledge of whether votes are counted as cast are the machine manufacturers, machine programmers and malicious hackers.
But PCOS makers assured in the 2010 polls it would be difficult to hack their machines because they will be online for a few minutes only during the transmission of the vote counts.
The Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) has warned of “wholesale” cheating in the May 13 elections if the deficiencies were not addressed.
“Election is not a matter of speed,” the bishops said, “but trustworthiness and honesty.”
Amen. But the snail-paced manual count also gives politicians time to cheat.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 06, 2013.