WHILE acknowledging that automation has a role to play in modernizing our elections, which remains a pitiful throwback from the first-ever held local polls in Bulacan more than a century ago, local information technology pioneer Roberto Verzola thinks the real problem does not lie with having an antiquated electoral system but with the fact that the cheats don’t get punished at all.

“They are blaming the manual system as the cause of cheating or that it makes cheating easy,” Verzola says. “But that is not correct. The system can be slow or fast but there will still be cheating unless you punish the cheats.”

In many instances, Verzola says, it is obvious who commits electoral fraud. But since they just get away with their crime, they just keep on doing it. “They even get promoted, occupy the highest positions in this country.”

Since the punishment for electoral cheats is perpetual disqualification from public office, Verzola says punishing them can have the added value of helping cleanse the government bureaucracy of cheats.

Computerization gives a false sense of security that everything will be tamper-proof, he says. “Computerizing the system will not stop them from committing fraud. Once they learn how to, cheats will make use of computers to cheat.”

Another problem with automation is that it will make cheating so much harder to detect and prosecute, says Verzola, pointing to the experience in the U.S. where there are “big issues about cheating precisely because the system is computerized.”

For instance, he cites the ballots that are entered into the counting machines. There is no way, he says, to double-check if the totals actually reflect the true count of the ballots. That is why he recommends that electoral processes at the precinct level should remain manual.

“Of course, we want the system to be faster, to be less prone to unintentional human errors. But some computerization proposals will only make the system less transparent,” Verzola says, proposing instead an alternative use of computers to make the process more transparent by making more people participate instead of minimizing human involvement.

Verzola has recently spearheaded the forming of the group Halalang Marangal (or the Network of Citizens for Honest Elections and Truthful Statistics). He says they intend to do a citizens’ audit of the elections in 2007 because the elections watchdog National Citizens’ Movement for Free Elections (Namfrel) cannot be relied upon anymore to make an honest tally. (See also Verzola’s studies on the extent of cheating in the 2004 presidential elections here and here.)

Halalang Marangal’s system is SMS (text)-based. Watchers will text precinct results to a central database. Its big difference with the official and Namfrel count is that the results will be accessible or downloadable to anyone via text or the Internet.

“There will be complete transparency to enable citizens in every precinct to do their own independent audits, double-checking and comparing output to input,” says Verzola, who thinks this is the correct way to use technology in the electoral process.

“Today, there is no way an ordinary voter or watcher or BEI (Board of Election Inspectors) member can ensure or convince themselves that their report will be reflected in the national tally. The system is not transparent enough,” he says.

This only means that there will still be value in getting copies of election documents. Halalang Marangal will thus be seeking Comelec accreditation come election time.
The system has been demonstrated at the World Bank’s Panibagong Paraan exhibit recently, making it as one of the 90 finalists. Verzola says they will conduct further tests and public presentations to perfect the system.

The system, which will run on non-proprietary software developed by Verzola himself, will cost very little and rely on the ubiquity of cellphones among Filipinos (approximately 40 million users at present). The central database will require only about 5 to 10 computers and can be mirrored in as many websites.

“In fact, at the World Bank exhibit, the server we used cost less than P10,000,” Verzola reveals.

To know more about Halalang Marangal’s system, visit its website.

68 Responses to Punishing the cheats, not election automation,
is real solution — local IT pioneer

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joselu

June 9th, 2006 at 7:56 pm

I don’t think that the problem is about punishing the cheats.
It’s more of having the evidence first to punish them.
I think it’s about taking away the oppurtunity for the cheats to do their dirty work.
We have the habit of accusing people of being cheats but at the end of the day we don’t have the evidence to nail them anyway.
It’s hard to beleave who the real cheats are when we are basically a land of “mga pikon, where defeat is never admited”.
Cheating starts when there is slowness in a proceses.Just like our premitive way of counting election return that leands it’s self to many endles oppurtunities.
As a vote is regestered in the precint level.What is important the results are immediatly transfered.
The hard copy where the vote is regestered will always remain as a document for future needs.
Perhaps, our problem is not much about cheating per se but we seem to leave w/ the ghost of cheating, real or imagined.
It’s a waste of time to be concerned more w/ the cheating then to figure out a simple system that has speed & possibly zero oppurtunities for “mysteries” to happen.
How can be cheating be harder to detect when there is the hard copy from the precint level.
What happens in all the city/provincial level has it’s roots in the precint level.
The problem happens when along the way & through all the changing of hands when numbers are garballed & confussed due to human errors caused by human exhastion.
It is because of human intervension that “funny things” happen.

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naykika

June 9th, 2006 at 8:26 pm

Election automation is not a solution, but is one among the solutions to minimize if not eliminate electoral fraud. It’s purpose is to make counting of votes faster and threby avoid the necessary time for fraudters to alter or intervene in influencing the result of the polls. Of course everybody knows that punishing or jailing or disqualifying cheaters from holding elected office is the ultimate solution to election frauds. Nobody needs to tell anyone about it. And all of us also know that the law pertaining to electoral frauds are also applied “selectively” instead of impartially.
Computerization more often if done properly, renders accurate results. We have a system, where if the results of contest between candidates close enough to a point where the law reauires automatic recount, usually the recount is done vote by vote MANUALLY and the results always agree with the original automated results. That is discounting any cheating. And it is always a good feeling to know your leaders before you even have your cup of coffee first thing when you wake up the morning after election day..

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Ambuot Saimo

June 10th, 2006 at 1:00 am

Joselu,
What more evidence you want to convince you that there are cheats in virtually every Philippine election LOCAL OR NATIONAL. C’mon…. wake up!!! Occupying the the number one slot in the order of heirarchy of cheats is now a present resident of Malacanang.

The irony is that if whereas before, the cheating consist only of some form of direct vote buying, terrorism or fraud in vote canvassing in the precinct level, (pa-tingi-tingi) it now graduated into higher level, it’s now wholesale or pakyaw – the padding of the Certificate of Canvass or ERs in the municipal or provincial levels. If one “Garci” was able to alter the election result how much more if you have two?
Computerization will not be fraud-free. You only need one “Garci” computer geek to hack the system and manipulate the result. In fact, even the FBI and CIA databases which initially thought to have the safest state-of-the art firewall systems in the world proved no match to these computer whiz. Some records repositories today do not store their sensitive data in the “system” anymore but just in a portable computer which they bring home or store in a safe.\

To Everybody:
Given the current political quagmire that engulped the Philippine elections, I think it’s now time to think and devise other ways and means for a simple, workable and effective election system without sacrificing our republican system of government. For now I think the only workable solution is to change the present voting system from direct to representative to work this way :

An amendment to the constitution should be made that the election of the president, vice president and senators should be through a “Constituent Voters Assembly” directly elected first by the people in each Barangays in the entire nation to be known as Barangay Voter Representative (BVRs). To save money the election of the BVRs should be done during the election of Barangay Captains. Then immediately after the election of these BVRs (which will be known in one day) they should be “sequestered” to avoid being influenced right away to the municipal halls/city halls or any secured and convenient place where they cannot make contact outside, no cellphones or any communication device where they have to vote or select among themselves (they are only about 30-40 of them as there are only that much barangays in a municiplaity) a person to act as the Municipal or City Voters repesentative ( MVR or CVR). In turn, these MVRs/CVRs will elect/select among themselves (only about 25-30 as there only that much municipalities in a province except Pangasinan) a Provincial Voter Representative (PVR). Finally, the Provincial Voters representatives (just over a hundred of them) will elect the President, Vice President and the Senators. All these process should be marathon and completed a week from the election of Barangay Voter Reps. the election of which should be non- partisan.

In summary: people elect BVRs; BVRs elect MVRs; MVRs elect PVRs. Finally, the PVRs vote directly who will be President, Vice President and Senators. The canvassing of votes can be done in minutes as there are only more than a hundred (provinces) votes to be counted. As an added feature, the PVR should be empowered to recall these elected officials including senators in lieu of a time consuming and partisan impeachment. The regular Impeachment should apply only to the other branches of government. How about that!!! Any other IDEA?

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ryebosco

June 10th, 2006 at 1:25 am

Too bad we can’t execute the cheats.

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schumey

June 10th, 2006 at 4:21 am

You know what’s the easiest but very effective way to prevent cheating, let’s do away with the ballots. Let the voter himself post his vote on the tally sheet in front of everybody. That’s the easiest and cost-effective way to avoid cheating. Wala na rin canvassing as the election officer can just count after voting closes. All parties can then double-check if the tally is correct. They make their notations and text the results to the Comelec. Tapos ang problema ‘di ba? Why make complicated solutions to a simple problem. Now no loser can claim they’ve been cheated as voting and canvassing is done at the same time and witnessed by everybody.

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ryebosco

June 10th, 2006 at 4:34 am

No kidding schumey. I agree. Have all voters line up in front televisions and verbally vote.

Unfortunately, the real world is all about money, hidden agendas, self-interests and pretense. Money and power ultimately dictate policies and politicians. Then you have groups crying “Right to Privacy.” Oh man, sometimes I just shake my head and say, “Hmmm, is that so, yeah right, whatever you say buddy.”

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baycas

June 10th, 2006 at 7:39 am

The first step in electoral reform is also the most difficult: punish the cheats.

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tongue in, anew

June 10th, 2006 at 7:52 am

Agreed, with all the above proposals, Verzola’s text-in transparent results, Naykika’s computerized-backed-by-manual Canadian method, Ambuot’s modified electoral college type, Schumey’s tally-on-vote-then-text proposal combined with Ryeboscos’s video monitoring all altogether in one system is one hell to crack by would-be cheats. What better system can anyone come up with?

Unfortunately, what the powerholders and the gov’t decision-makers prefer is something that is likely to benefit a single party and serve the interests of those other than the people’s.

If not, why then would this stupid Comelec Chairman buy machines that run on a very unstable Windows system that has more holes than a sponge? Such expensive machines could be bought with proprietary software thrown in. The secrecy of such software, the manufacturer will protect with his life. Not even with Microsoft raising its present XP cipher strength from 128-bit to 1000 bits, a hacker who can crack the present Windows in a few days can accelerate it to a few minutes with several of them working on it.

DItto Namfrel’s Joecon, who was a very vocal critic of this manufacturer, only later was it known that he was actually lobbying for his own brand.

I can’t understand why India, with its one billion ragheads trooping to the polls, can get their results in a few hours. They probably have the best hackers and crackers in the world doing nothing but that and still manage to have a fast, clean, non-controversial, and proportionately inexpensive electoral exercise.

I would like to suggest that in order to save another P1.8B to replace these computers, why not engage an industry-leading software provider who will not compromise its reputation to create a machine-language program that will run these computers. We can pay double the price on guarantee that it cannot be cracked/hacked. That would probably be the biggest single software deal but it’s still more than a billion pesos cheaper. Any suggestions?

As with any proposal to this gov’t, it still boils down to benevolent political will. Remember Murphy’s Law? If this administration gets something it can cheat with, it will.

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Jon Mariano

June 10th, 2006 at 12:16 pm

The Indians were able to agree on something, and then they made it work. The “electronic voting system” they used was presented in the senate and I was actually impressed with its simplicity and effectivity. It definitely could be customized for use in the Philippines. Why is it not even considered?

A simple system for a Philippine setting would be:
1. Voter puts in his vote, it is automatically tallied at each level (Brgy, Town/City, Province, National).
2. A printout is produced, the voter verifies it manually, attaches his thumbmark, drops the printed paper in box (for review, protest, etc.).
3. System should be both electricity and battery powered (if there’s a brownout/blackout).
4. Transmission of results should be secure.

When voting/counting is fast, there will be a shorter period for cheats to operate. But as it is, if a “party” can prepare so much in advance (maybe like what happened in 2004), then they still can do their cheating. But these kinds of problems are solvable, and should not hold back our use of high-tech solutions.

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Juan Makabayan

June 10th, 2006 at 1:42 pm

Tongue in,

“Remember Murphy’s Law? If this administration gets something it can cheat with, it will.”

MURPHY’S LAWS
Nothing is as easy as it looks.
Everything takes longer than you think.
Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.
If there is a possibility of several things going wrong, the one that will cause the most damage will be the one to go wrong. Corollary: If there is a worse time for something to go wrong, it will happen then.
If anything simply cannot go wrong, it will anyway.
If you perceive that there are four possible ways in which a procedure can go wrong, and circumvent these, then a fifth way, unprepared for, will promptly develop.
Left to themselves, things tend to go from bad to worse.
If everything seems to be going well, you have obviously overlooked something.
Nature always sides with the hidden flaw.
Mother nature is a bitch.

It is impossible to make anything foolproof because fools are so ingenious.

Whenever you set out to do something, something else must be done first.
Every solution breeds new problems.

Please cite a few of Gloria’s Law o Garci’s Law on cheating,
If an election system can be cheated, it will be cheated?

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Juan Makabayan

June 10th, 2006 at 2:26 pm

Election (Automation) vis a vis Murphy’s Law is interesting.

Murphy’s Law basically is a about the possibility of something going wrong, whatever we may be doing. ‘If something can go wrong, it will.’ In the case of automation, the problem is the possibility of systems failure.

But in an elections, the biggest problem/challenge is the certainty of cheating. How can we ‘Garci-proof’ an election system? Can any proponent guarratee that their system is ‘Garci-proof’? Or ‘Gloria-proof’?
Should proponents/suppliers post a (P1B?) ‘guarrantee bond’ so that if the system is proven to have been cheated bond is forfeited?

A good election system must be “Murphy-proofed” which means fail-safe, reliable; and “Garci-proofed” which means cannot be cheated, secured.

We can hope for an honest, credible and orderly elections — next time?

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joselu

June 10th, 2006 at 2:44 pm

Ambot, it’s all a lot of noise, perception & drama but after the dust has settled, where is the strong non partisan evidence?
There is nothing in this country that is never contested.
From a beauty queen compition to politics.Everything & anything is contested.
Does it mean we are a land of cheats?
Does it mean we are super pikon & will never admit to defeat?
Since time in memorial there has always been cheating in our elections.
Because the entire electoral system is prone to being manipulated in all possible ways.
The last time around it was magnified to a great proportion.
Before & after the elactions nobody was complaining.
Even when independent surveys indicated a GMA victory.
Nobody complained when Lacson did not give in to FPJ w/c also ment in the divided opposition between Lacson & FPJ it will be FPJ who will lose votes to going to Lacson.
Nobody was complaining about the statistical studies then.
I don’t remember observers complaining, do you?
I even don’t remember the church complaining, do you?
Then a year later a scandal breaks out.
Why did it not come when it was needed most during the canvas?
Why did it not come out to help FPJ?
Why the delay?
who would profit from a divisive scenario?
Who where behind the cowardly act?
So many question that need answers.
But the strange thing is even w/o questions answered there is already a conclussion & judgment.
Only in the Philippines!!!!
where is Loren Legarda now w/ all her acussation?
Anyway, a year has passed & nothing has been proven.
The “professional noise makers” where not able to convince the great majority.
Ambot, for anyone who leaves in fear & paranoia there is nothing that will ever give you enough guarantee.
In dificult times the real assets are people who have confidence & capability to be able to deliver.
Like I already said.Cheating happens when things move slow, when there are delays, when there are so many levels in a proceses.
In the Philppine scenario human contact/ intervention is another critical moment.
If one really wants to eliminate fraud & cheating.First you must pinpoint where the oppurtunities are.
The more complicated a system is, the more oppurtunities there are to cheat.
Technology gives us the system for speed.
If we don’t know how to make a system work for us then it’s not the cheats that are the problem. It’s us!
We are not really concerned of how to make the system work.
We just really wanna catch cheats. irreguardless if the system works or not.

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lutongmakaw

June 10th, 2006 at 6:46 pm

You are talking in circle joselu. You want a fool proof system so that it will minimize cheats. But you also know that no matter how good the system is if this is operated by cheats its useless. So what do we do now?

Our current system is as good as any system here in the world. The difference is because we tolerate cheaters and we let go of those who cheats. Why can’t we stop cheaters first and think about how to improve the system later. You don’t put the cart first before the horse don’t you? Be consistent.

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Cecile Impens

June 10th, 2006 at 9:59 pm

Joselu said: I think it’s about taking away the opportunity for the cheats to do their work.
How Joselu?
By crippling, by ma

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Cecile Impens

June 10th, 2006 at 10:04 pm

by making them mentality incapacitated, and by making them work under our constant scrutiny! Otherwise, there is no sure way to control these cheats! Sounds barbaric, but when politician cheats the poor, that is no excuse!

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Mike in Manila - at large » Blog Archive » “You stole the election not once… but twice…” - Kennedy?

June 11th, 2006 at 1:29 am

[...] []…  Punishing the cheats, not election automation,is real solution — local IT pioneer [...]

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Mike

June 11th, 2006 at 1:30 am

It is true automation is not a seal that cheating will not occur… look at this very comprehensive article on alleged irregularites in another 2004 election….
that alleges the republicans ‘stole’ the US election – not once- but twice!

[]… Was the 2004 Election Stolen?
By Robert F. Kennedy Jr.
Rolling Stone
Thursday 01 June 2006
Republicans prevented more than 350,000 voters in Ohio from casting ballots or having their votes counted – enough to have put John Kerry in the White House
http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/060106R.shtml#a10 ….[]

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tongue in, anew

June 11th, 2006 at 1:52 am

Juan M. says:
“Should proponents/suppliers post a (P1B?) ‘guarantee bond’ so that if the system is proven to have been cheated bond is forfeited?”

Exactly, I don’t care if we spent a billion if only it would be supplier-guaranteed to be Garci-free and Gloria-free. Then we can all just sit back and relax. What I’m afraid of is that we end up buying (again!) a system full of defects and holes, built-in vulnerability, if you will.

Paying a premium for such an important system is money well spent. In manufacturing, we call it self-QC. Upgrading to a precision machine requires better preparation, better materials, and better operators. The quality of the product is improved four-fold! In this case, the bidders will crack each other’s system out and only the technologically-superior ones will survive; which settles the technical aspect of the bid. (Some benevolent hackers will do the job even for free.) The economic evaluation, which is the easier part, follows.

Jon M’s description of the Indian system is very enlightening I should say. If it does work for about a billion voters, why not for 40 million? Adding biometrics to this system will probably fortify its integrity even more.

I think it’s about time we retire these old farts in gov’t. The younger generations are more at ease or adept with technology.

And yes, Juan M., we may not find the perfect solution, but at the very least we can upgrade to one with the least of imperfections.

Murphy is right, so is Newton: for every action there is an equal reaction of the same magnitude in the opposite direction. We learned our lessons well in 2004. We now move against efforts to thwart again the next elections that rely on the 4 G’s – guns, goons, gold and Garci.

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Roger

June 11th, 2006 at 11:55 am

Venezuela has been using a computer bassed voting system since August 2004 Recall election of President Hugo Chavez. Which he “won” with 60% even though the exit and other polls showed only 40%. The secret to this is that the votes are counted only in a little room in Caracas, as the election authority considers the system 100% accurate! Since then there have been several elections all with disasterous results for the opposition. The election in December was boycotted by the opposition and only 17% of voters voted and yet the government won! Systems like this centralize voter fraud and corruption in places that have a history of such problems.

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freewheel

June 11th, 2006 at 1:38 pm

ah, Mr. Roger, you would rather have the Abalos-led Comelec to do the counting manually, eh?

and continue to allow a system that produces the likes of Garci?

mind you, there are still many Garci’s lurking around the corner, and ready, in fact raring, to deliver again those deadly blows against democracy and the citizenry.

well, Garci lieutenants have just been recently promoted, if you care to know…

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johnmarzan

June 11th, 2006 at 10:18 pm

I don’t think that the problem is about punishing the cheats.
It’s more of having the evidence first to punish them.

if that’s the case, then edsa dos should not have taken place and erap should be re-installed na lang, because the evidence and chavit testimony against erap was much more inferior and less credible than the evidence against GMA and jose pidal.

as long as arroyo is in power, walang serious reforms na magaganap sa COMELEC, sa corruption, sa CHA CHA CHOO CHOO ni arroyo, at sa wasteful spending, dahil ang priorities ng arroyo admin ay political survival, protecting the guilty, labelling and torturing the “destabilizers” at obstructing justice, and using any means necessary to stay in power and harass the opposition.

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johnmarzan

June 11th, 2006 at 10:27 pm

ah, Mr. Roger, you would rather have the Abalos-led Comelec to do the counting manually, eh?

and continue to allow a system that produces the likes of Garci?

it’s easier to catch any cheating via manual voting.

nasa tao na rin yan eh. kung hindi mapagkakatiwalaan ang mga taong nagpapatakbo ng gobierno natin, like the fake president arroyo and the incompetent and unreliable comelec commissioners, delikado na naman ang 2007 elections natin, lalo na kung computerized yan.

btw roger, i’ve posted about the hugo chavez computerized elections scandal here.

http://politicaljunkie.blogspot.com/2006/04/how-other-countries-steal-elections.html

read this too

http://www.deanesmay.com/posts/1143959964.shtml

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mindanaw

June 12th, 2006 at 3:00 am

I’m excited how the group of Obet Verzola’s Halalang Marangal could fiscalize the much-tainted exercise that is elections in the Philippines.

I agree, computerization will not guarantee clean elections. Machines cannot and should not alter the dignity of people and their right to suffrage. I don’t think cheats would be deterred from cheating just because the elections are “automated”. Maybe, if these cheats are not punished, they will only become more clever and could only upgrade their modus operandi with computers around.

It would be even more dangerous to deal with computers, if crooks are behind the monitors, inside CPUs or are moving from one network to another. I think computers work in wonders for elections too. But the people would not be better-off if the problem of cheaters at large still persist. The way I see it, automation could not stand alone in an elections where the problem is not only slow election process, but integrity of electoral institutions like the COMELEC and NAMFREL, as alleged by other groups.

In my point of view, this automation project — scarred with budget and other concerns— would not work in that situation.

The first time I’ve heard about this election watch “third force” was when Obet spoke at the Go Organic Mindanao conference in Davao City in December 2005.

I really do hope they can pull it off and create a domino effect to the whole electorate and electoral process.

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johnmarzan

June 12th, 2006 at 3:06 am

ah, Mr. Roger, you would rather have the Abalos-led Comelec to do the counting manually, eh?

and continue to allow a system that produces the likes of Garci?

mind you, there are still many Garci’s lurking around the corner, and ready, in fact raring, to deliver again those deadly blows against democracy and the citizenry.

pero nahuli si garci at arroyo di ba? nabuking ang entire operations ng malacanang, militar, at ng mga rogue COMELEC officials. even before the tapes came out, there were tons of evidence to show na nandaya si arroyo, pero na “noted” lang sila ni Sec. SiRAULo at Sen. Kiko Cuneta.

dahil mahirap, magastos, at matrabaho kasing mandaya kapag manual ang botohan eh. you need an army of EXPERIENCED dagdag bawas operators just to get the job done, and done right.

pero people make errors pagdating sa mga ganitong complex na operations. and the low ranking COMELEC and military officers involved in GLORIAGATE are no different. dapat marunong sila sa ganitong paraan, kung hindi… halatang dinoktor ang mga documento at hindi nagtutugma ang mga data, katulad nung sinabi ni garci, na “hindi maganda” raw ang pagpapataas sa boto ni arroyo dahil inexperienced ang mga ilang heneral at military officials sa ganitong nakawan.

kaya nga ayaw ng mga kaalyado ni arroyo na ipa-recount ang mga boto nung canvassing eh, dahil mahuhuli ang massive election fraud operation ni arroyo/garci.

the discrepancies between the ERs and COCs results were so obvious (thanks gen. habacon) na bumalik pa ang iilan sa mga GLORIAGATE operators after arroyo was proclaimed winner just to rectify and correct some of the kapalpakan made by inexperienced dagdag bawas operators.

read this too.

so it’s obvious na mas mahirap makalusot sa dayaan kapag manual ang botohan. the problem lang nga is that makapal talaga mukha ng cheater-in-chief at kapit tuko pa rin siya sa pwesto. and all the people who helped arroyo steal the elections are still free.

so IMO, i’m okay with automated machines, as long as the administration and COMELEC that is handling the elections are trustworthy and competent. else, we’d have another hugo chavez situation in the philippines.

kasi automated machines makes counting faster nga, but it also makes cheating and screwing up the elections much much easier too.

From David Price summary on the hugo chavez article:

The whole point of electronics and software is to manipulate information. That makes them great tools for lots of applications, but assuring election integrity is not one of them. If you value your democratic rights, demand your election officials use paper ballots that can be manually recounted and whose physical integrity and chain of custody can be confirmed.

Again, I really can’t emphasize enough how important this could be. As a software developer, I can tell you there are a million ways to sabotage something like this; very bad things happen merely by accident all the time. Trust me when I tell you that you wouldn’t want an absolutely honest programmer anywhere near your election results, let alone ones who may already be complicit in one stolen election.

even blogfather Glenn Reynolds aka instapundit believes that paper ballots are safer and more resistant to fraud than a voting machine.

http://www.tcsdaily.com/article.aspx?id=110502A

A paper ballot encodes lots of useful information besides the obvious. Not only is the information about the vote contained in the form, but also information about the voter. Different colors of ink, different styles of handwriting, etc., make each ballot different. Erasing the original votes is likely to leave a detectable residue. Creating all new ballots with fraudulent votes requires substantial variation among them or the fakery is much more obvious; thats hard work. And destroying the original ballots in order to replace them with fraudulent ones isnt that easy theres a lot of paper to be disposed of, and shredding it, or burning it, or hiding it is comparatively easy to detect. (Protecting the ballots before counting doesnt require fancy encryption, either: just a steel box with a lock, a slot on the top, and a seal.) Whats more, because people are familiar with paper documents, fraud is easy to understand when it occurs. Paper ballots are both robust (resistant to fraud) and transparent (easy to understand). Compare this sophisticated voting technology to that of voting machines. A voting machine captures only the information regarding the vote. Once it has done so, one vote looks like another. Theres no handwriting, no style, no ink, just a simple notation of which candidate was favored. Most voting machines store votes electronically, meaning that if theyre changed, theres no troubling paper residue for fraud-perpetrators to dispose of. And because voting machines are complicated – and because their actual workings are unseen, and often kept secret its much harder for voters, members of the press, and others to identify or understand fraud. Electronic ballots, in other words, are neither robust nor transparent. The fact is, if you could come up with a new technology as simple and resistant to fraud as the paper ballot, people would be pretty impressed.

under ordinary circumstances, i might consider the automated machines. but not under the arroyo admin and it’s COMELEC.

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Roger

June 12th, 2006 at 3:50 am

I agree, manual is better in the third world, for several reasons. First, the votes are counted or witnessed by people that the voters know. Second, Former President Jimmy Carter still does not understand Computer Voting Fraud. How can poorly educated people who only see computers from afar? Third, Colombia, Chile and Peru have recently had elections with no major fraud. Also, they are recovering democracies with histories of dictators and violence. What ever they are doing should be looked into. Fourth, there is no shortage of labor and paying poll workers and printers is still much cheaper than custom computer systems. Fifth, who is going to certify that a computer voting system will comply with all Philippine laws? What is going to happen to them if it does not? Sixth, how is all this information going to be networked back to Manila? In Venezuela, it was discovered that their system was transmitting results during the voting and they were taking corrective action. To think that Philippine law and courts with such issues to me questionable. Finaly, a good portal to Venezuelan english sites on the subject. http://www.venezuelatoday.net/

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Juan Makabayan

June 12th, 2006 at 12:59 pm

Talk about Automation under Abalos is as unpalatable as Cha-cha debate under Gloria. It is like talking about having a nice meal while set in the middle of decomposing garbage and buried-alive scavengers in Payatas.

We have not learned. Are we assuming that Garci-proofing an election system will be done under this administration? That an automated ‘dagdag-bawas’ will not happen? Murphy’s Law, Garci’s Law, Newton’s Law confluence in Gloria’s Law: “If you think that we’ve hit rock bottom that we can’t sink any lower, we sank.” We are talking about elections, we are taking about what Gloria would do or would not do. We are talking about Gloria’s sense of right and wrong sinking lower that she will not stop at anything to get what she is so obsessed about. We are talking about elections; we are talking about Gloria’s Laws. See the budget ploy (and the anti-senate venom to boot), see how Gloria’s Law operate over and above the laws of the land, its institutions, traditions, customs – sense of right and wrong — and sense of shame.

With a re-enacted budget or an un-cut 2006 budget, Gloria will have the appetite for a hearty meal in Payatas, while talking about taking off on a flight or riding a cha-cha railroad express — to enchanted kingdom.

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Toro

June 12th, 2006 at 6:23 pm

Full automation of the electoral process and punishing the cheats are the best remedy to minimize if not stop election fraud. It is in the slow-count manual system that gives cheaters the opportunity to rig the results. A computerized system allows the swift transmission of results to central office thus minimizing the possibility of tampering. There will always be attempts to tamper results but there are safeguards, as in all computer programs, that can be incorporated into the system and make it easy to detect fraud. And those caught of having committed fraud should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law, and if he/she is a candidate for whose favor the fraud is committed, be perpetually banned from ever running for public office.

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lutongmakaw

June 12th, 2006 at 9:34 pm

I agree Toro.

And to make the law even harsher, whomever benefited by the cheats must be booted out of the office after due process. No need to recounts since it is computerized.

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johnmarzan

June 12th, 2006 at 11:59 pm

There will always be attempts to tamper results but there are safeguards, as in all computer programs, that can be incorporated into the system and make it easy to detect fraud.

how safe are the so-called “safeguards” anyway kung yung arroyo admin at ang mga arroyo-appointed na COMELEC commissioners at officials nito ang magpapatakbo ulit ng elections natin? if i recall correctly, wala ni isa sa mga responsable sa GLORIAGATE ay nakulong o naparusahan, at mukhang untouchable pa rin sila garci, joc joc, at ricardo manapat (our very awesome ex-national archives head).

As long as the corrupting influence of arroyo is still there, mahirap magkaroon ng credible na elections dahil alam ng mga (manual or high-tech) na dagdag bawas operators na protektado sila at hindi sila makukulong as long as GMA controls malacanang.

yes, using automated systems makes it easier and faster to count votes. but it also makes it easier to rig or screw up the elections, and so much harder to detect election fraud.

From David Price:

The whole point of electronics and software is to manipulate information. That makes them great tools for lots of applications, but assuring election integrity is not one of them. If you value your democratic rights, demand your election officials use paper ballots that can be manually recounted and whose physical integrity and chain of custody can be confirmed.

Again, I really can’t emphasize enough how important this could be. As a software developer, I can tell you there are a million ways to sabotage something like this; very bad things happen merely by accident all the time. Trust me when I tell you that you wouldn’t want an absolutely honest programmer anywhere near your election results, let alone ones who may already be complicit in one stolen election.

From Glenn Reynolds:

A paper ballot encodes lots of useful information besides the obvious. Not only is the information about the vote contained in the form, but also information about the voter. Different colors of ink, different styles of handwriting, etc., make each ballot different. Erasing the original votes is likely to leave a detectable residue. Creating all new ballots with fraudulent votes requires substantial variation among them or the fakery is much more obvious; thats hard work. And destroying the original ballots in order to replace them with fraudulent ones isnt that easy theres a lot of paper to be disposed of, and shredding it, or burning it, or hiding it is comparatively easy to detect. (Protecting the ballots before counting doesnt require fancy encryption, either: just a steel box with a lock, a slot on the top, and a seal.) Whats more, because people are familiar with paper documents, fraud is easy to understand when it occurs. Paper ballots are both robust (resistant to fraud) and transparent (easy to understand). Compare this sophisticated voting technology to that of voting machines. A voting machine captures only the information regarding the vote. Once it has done so, one vote looks like another. Theres no handwriting, no style, no ink, just a simple notation of which candidate was favored. Most voting machines store votes electronically, meaning that if theyre changed, theres no troubling paper residue for fraud-perpetrators to dispose of. And because voting machines are complicated – and because their actual workings are unseen, and often kept secret its much harder for voters, members of the press, and others to identify or understand fraud. Electronic ballots, in other words, are neither robust nor transparent. The fact is, if you could come up with a new technology as simple and resistant to fraud as the paper ballot, people would be pretty impressed.

and from robert verzola:

Computerization gives a false sense of security that everything will be tamper-proof, he says. “Computerizing the system will not stop them from committing fraud. Once they learn how to, cheats will make use of computers to cheat.”

Another problem with automation is that it will make cheating so much harder to detect and prosecute, says Verzola, pointing to the experience in the U.S. where there are “big issues about cheating precisely because the system is computerized.”

For instance, he cites the ballots that are entered into the counting machines. There is no way, he says, to double-check if the totals actually reflect the true count of the ballots. That is why he recommends that electoral processes at the precinct level should remain manual.

so i don’t know where you are getting your info na it’s “easy” to detect computer election fraud, toto.

like most people, i want a fast count of the votes, and i’d be cautiously in favor of the automated vote counting machines, under normal circumstances. but if arroyo and her comelec are still running the show, then i think it’s safer to use paper ballots para sa manual voting. yes, it’s slower, but mas mahirap dayain ito if you listen to garci detail some of the screwups by the military etc. kasi you need lots of EXPERIENCED people to make dagdag bawas work on a massive scale eh. and everybody should keep their mouths shut. if somebody screws up, mahahalata ang nakawan.

but i applaud GMA. nahuli na siya at si garci, pero ayaw pa rin mag-resign. kapal talaga.

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naykika

June 13th, 2006 at 1:07 am

Although election frauds is a very rare occurence here as far as I have observed for the past 30 years of Elections of all levels of Government, we have not got rid of the traditional voting. We still vote with the ballot marked X next to the candidate of our choice, drop the ballot in a cardboard box with or without assistance of poll workers and you’re done with your civic duty.
It is the counting that is done by automation and the ballots still intact for the manual count in case there is an automatic recount in any particular riding(s)(results too close to call) or fraud is suspected, or if any party of interest doubt the accuracy of the count and have very reasonable evidence that can be justified for a manual recount. But so far our automation has been sailing smooth and except for automatic recounts in few instances, there was no computer “malfunctions” or attempts to hack it, lest you want to spend a few years vacation in the slumber. Yes, the man we call our Canada’s Chief Electoral Officer, is very serious of holding the integrity of our elections, manual or automated, the same results and a good 1 hour after the poll is closed, you can celebrate for your candidate or go to bed and try again the next time..

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bernardocarpio

June 13th, 2006 at 6:49 am

It’s not the question of automation alone but also the plague of political dynasties in every province of the Philippines that has to be remedied now. How come nobody is clamoring for this since all politicians are abusing this loophole since time immemorial? It’s because of cheating that helps these creeps to hold on to power in their respective provinces.

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Toro

June 13th, 2006 at 9:09 am

Johnmarzan, tila napagiiwanan ka na ng kabihasnan. Gusto mo ba na mano-mano ang bilangan na inabot na ng isang buwan hindi pa rin alam kung sino ang nanalo? At ngayong may panalo na ayaw namang tanggapin ng tao dahil may dayaan daw? Di ba ganito na lang lagi tuwing election. Syempre pa, lahat ng natalo ang sigaw nadaya sila, di ba?

Look at India with over 650 million registered voters, they already knew the winners in just 72 hours, thanks to their computerized voting system. Try compare this to what we have. Isa pa, sa sistema natin ilang salin ang ginagawa sa pagbilang. Mula sa precinct level isasalin and bilang sa municipal level, pagkatapos nito isasalin naman sa provincial level. Dito sa pagsasalin-salin nagaganap ang pagbabago ng resulta at habang pinatatagal ang pagsalin lalong nagkakaroon ng pagkakataon na mandaya. There are different ways to computerize the electoral process not by just counting or transmitting results from one province to central office. A fully computerized automated voting system is the best where a voter presses buttons that represent names of candidates and immediately that vote is recorded in the central office where the data base is located. This is similar to what banks use today. Cash deposited in a bank in Davao this instant will show immediately in the same bank in Manila. The process is very expensive but if you want a fool-proof system this is it. Too, you can have a running total of votes for each candidate so manipulation is eliminated and with the voter isolated inside the voter’s booth no one can interfere in the voting process. How safe and dependable is this system is best answered by the question, has anyone cracked the banking system that use this system? JohnM will ask, but can you trust Gloria and the Comelec? No, I don’t but I can gather the best computer minds in the country to be among those that will supervise the system to make sure there is no hanky-panky. As I said, there will be attempts to commit fraud but what is important is we are able to anticipate how they are going to do it and we know how to stop them. For the cheaters time is the essence and we are not giving them this chance. The election takes only half a day to accomplish. The election will be over by the time the cheats can unlock the code of a very good computer program, that is, if he is Bill Gates.

A less expensive model is the one used in India. See this link
http://www.eci.gov.in/EVM/index.htm

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Rizalist

June 13th, 2006 at 9:31 am

Automation is better than no automation because it eliminates many opportunities for cheating. The problem of punishing the cheaters, who will exist with or without automation, is an entirely different problem and should not be part of the decision to automate or not.

The level of comfort and security needed is just like with Automated Teller Services in a bank. Using that analogy, I would insist on the automated systems even as I insist that there be no crooks on the banks staff. But since you can never prevent crooks from joining a bank staff, automation is a layer of protection we need.

Of course it has its own problems and is no panacea. No more than an ATM is. But we should at least get to that before we try to solve the problems inherent in it. Verzola’s concerns miss the mark by a wide margin.

We want automation now precisely because there are so many cheaters and not even ethnic cleansing will make them go away. He’s just being radical. As usual.

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Toro

June 13th, 2006 at 10:36 am

Bernardocarpio, political dynasty is here to stay unless the law is amended that will prohibit any relative of an incumbent official up to the 4th degree from running for any public office in the next two elections. The current law on political dynasty does not prevent a wife, a son, or any relative from occupying the office of the incumbent official once said official reaches the 3 term limit allowed him by law. Thus, you have the likes of the Eusebios in Pasig City and Binay’s Republic in Makati City. Just watch how these people have enriched themselves in office which is impossible to be achieved with the meager salary a city mayor gets. In fact, this provision should be embedded in the Constitution because no congressman would introduce a measure that will prevent him from creating his own political dynasty.

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scud_1975

June 13th, 2006 at 11:59 am

Hindi nga garantiya na mawawala ang dayaan sa “automated election”, ngunit hindi dapat maging hadlang ito upang hindi tayo makaalis “jurrassic” method na matagal na nating ginagamit.Talaga namang kahit modernong paraan kung talagang may masamang hangarin makapandaya, gagamitan din yan sa pamamagitan ng modernong..Kung Ayaw May Dahilan,Kung Gusto May Paraan.

Paano natin kokontrahin ang “evil computer experts” na gustong mandaya? Labanan sila ng “honest computer experts” ! Kung manual pa rin tayo, paano mo kokontrahin ang “evil forgers, counterfeiters, and fabricators” na gustong mandaya? Labanan kaya sila ng “honest forgers, counterfeiters and fabricators”?

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Juan Makabayan

June 13th, 2006 at 12:12 pm

CBCP’s call for GMA to face the illegitimacy issue entails focus on electoral reforms, which must consider the ff:
1) The present COMELEC is/will be under investigation by the OMBUDSMAN as per SC ruling.
2) Abalos etal will not resign.
3) Preparation for a credible 2007 election must be on going and on-track.
4) Forming a new Commission, at this point, has become a must priority.

Recommended is a bullet amendment that would:
1) Abolish the present COMELEC to form a new body,
2) Change the process of appointments to the commission,
3) Remove from COMELEC jurisdiction over election protests,

In preparation for 2007 election, the people must take the initiative:
1) Petition your congressional representatives to support the “Change the COMELEC Amendment”,
2) warn your congressional representative that his stand on this amendment and the impeachment will be the bases of your vote in the 2007 election,
3) Draft and support alternative candidates to replace unresponsive and irresponsible congressional representatives,

A PEOPLE’S RESOLUTION Calling upon Congress to pass an amendment replacing the present COMELEC with a new Commission:
WHEREAS, we, the people, have totally lost trust and confidence in the present members of the Commission on Elections; and,
WHEREAS, we, the people, desire and demand that electoral reforms be undertaken by a new set of Commissioners; and,
WHEREAS, we, the people hold dear our rights and shall protect our votes; therefore be it
RESOLVED, that, we, the people, in whom sovereign power resides, calls upon Congress to pass an amendment that would replace the COMELEC with a new Commission.

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joselu

June 13th, 2006 at 1:53 pm

Cecil, firstly, by outsmating them. By simplifying the system.By quickening the system,By using speed,by lessening human intervention..By pinpointing the weak point of the system.
By not leaveing anything by chance or taking anything for granted.
But above all by acting w/ some self-confidence.
Problems exist in every society.
But whay is it so that we don’t seem to be capable of solving anything?

Cecil, we are supposed to be people w/ God given brain too.
We have also to act intelegently.
Insted of getting mad at the cheats.
There is more fullfilment in being object & attending more to correcting the system.
cheats & manipulators come only as a result of a system that is full of loopholes & oppurtunities.

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indio_lawless

June 13th, 2006 at 2:46 pm

‘Wag na lang mag-eleksyon.

Gawing Reyna na lang si Glue-ria.

No election, Reyna pa si Glue-ria.

Reyna Elena.

Hahahahahaha!

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gwaping

June 13th, 2006 at 6:24 pm

Is Versola suggesting that the USA go back to manual election procedures? :-)

I understand Versola is an IT expert, naniniwala kaya siya sa sistema ng LOTTO here in our country and the rest of the world? O sinasabi ba niya, WALANG automated system na hindi pwedeng HINDI matamper? Paano na ang banking system, paano na ang airline system, lahat ba yun kayang i-tamper? I doubt! My point is MERONG AVAILABLE NA SISTEMA NA ‘FOOL PROOF’!

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Alecks Pabico

June 13th, 2006 at 6:46 pm

Gwaping,

Based on my talks with Obet Verzola, what he is merely saying is that cheating in elections is a social problem. Being so, it must be addressed by a social solution, not just a technical one. Admittedly, there are technical problems in our election process like the slow count and transmission of results, etc. Verzola says there are technical solutions for these, but until the election cheats are punished, even a state-of-the-art computerized system will not ensure clean, honest and orderly polls.

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johnmarzan

June 13th, 2006 at 8:20 pm

Gusto mo ba na mano-mano ang bilangan na inabot na ng isang buwan hindi pa rin alam kung sino ang nanalo?

computer voting is definitely faster (probably within one day alam mo na kung sino ang panalo sa pagka-presidente), but it’s not true at all na mas mahirap dayain ang computerized voting.

In fact, MAS mahirap dayain ang MANUAL dahil kailangan mo ng maraming experienced the dagdag bawas operators para maisagawa ang massive na dagdag bawas operations katulad ng GLORIAGATE. at kailangan marunong sila, hindi katulad nina Gen. Habacon na palpak raw according to Garci. kung hindi, buking.

in fact, even before the tapes came out, there were plenty of evidence to show na nandaya si arroyo, pero na it was all “noted” away by arroyo’s allies. hindi pumayag sa recount nung canvassing dahil mahahalata yung discrepancies ng ER at COCs sa mga contested areas.

the discrepancies between the ERs and COCs results were so obvious (thanks gen. habacon) na bumalik pa ang iilan sa mga GLORIAGATE operators after arroyo was proclaimed winner just to rectify and correct some of the kapalpakan made by inexperienced dagdag bawas operators.

ang problema lang nga, nahuli na yung mga nagnakaw ng presidential elections, pero up to this day, ayaw pa rin umalis sa pwesto ni arroyo, at wala pa ni isa sa mga responsable sa GLORIAGATE ay nakulong o naparusahan, katulad nina garci, joc joc at ricardo manapat.

if we failed to punish the GLORIAGATE operators when it was easy to identify the cheating that took place sa manual, how do you expect na mahuhuli sila ulit pag automated ang ginamit natin, where there is less transparency and the integrity of the e-vote is more difficult to confirm, and cheating is more difficult to identify by the voters and the media.

like i said, i’d be more comfortable with the automated system under normal situations. pero hindi normal ang situation natin dahil nandyan pa rin ang corrupting influence ni arroyo, at siya ang nagaapoint ng tao na magpapatakbo ng election natin.

nytimes may 12, 2006

David Bear, a spokesman for Diebold Election Systems, said the potential risk existed because the company’s technicians had intentionally built the machines in such a way that election officials would be able to update their systems in years ahead.

“For there to be a problem here, you’re basically assuming a premise where you have some evil and nefarious election officials who would sneak in and introduce a piece of software,” he said. “I don’t believe these evil elections people exist.”

Heh.

read this too.

it’s like CHA CHA. kung legit ang president na gustong baguhin ang Constitution natin, i might consider cha cha, even though matagal na akong against dito. pero kung yung lllegitimate presidente ang magi-spearhead ng changes sa constitution, it’s the same as letting marcos change our constitution. no effin way.

At ngayong may panalo na ayaw namang tanggapin ng tao dahil may dayaan daw? Di ba ganito na lang lagi tuwing election. Syempre pa, lahat ng natalo ang sigaw nadaya sila, di ba?

well, if you believe na hindi ninakaw ni arroyo at garci ang election, then your opinion sir.

JohnM will ask, but can you trust Gloria and the Comelec? No, I don’t but I can gather the best computer minds in the country to be among those that will supervise the system to make sure there is no hanky-panky.

let’s hope you’re right na they can easily detect such computer fraud. sa lahat ng articles ng nabasa ko, mas mahirap mahuli ang mga high-tech garcis kaysa sa mga manual garci/habacon.

As I said, there will be attempts to commit fraud but what is important is we are able to anticipate how they are going to do it and we know how to stop them. For the cheaters time is the essence and we are not giving them this chance. The election takes only half a day to accomplish. The election will be over by the time the cheats can unlock the code of a very good computer program, that is, if he is Bill Gates.

uh, i think it’s much easier and faster too to cheat on a massive scale, dahil computerized ito at hindi labor intensive, lalo na kapag “insider” ka sa COMELEC o sa arroyo admin.

in the end, it’s all about credibility of the gov’t and COMELEC running the elections.

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freewheel

June 13th, 2006 at 10:25 pm

John M.,

your reservations is well taken, if taken in the context of the current Comelec leadership, and GMA sly political machinations to keep herself perpetually free from responsibilities of her acts; past and present.

any electoral automation scheme concocted by them smart alecks in the House and the Senate, should be open to the public for debate and examination.

the Comelec; since nobody believe them anymore, save for those who have a stake in their hocus-pocus and GMA sychopants, any decision on which computer program to adopt ( and it should be computer language-based rather than application software; take note of the difference ) should NOT be on their slimy brains.

i suggest, an independent body (Namfrel too, is tainted and should be out), should be given the leeway to weigh and execute solutions vis-a-vis the strong possibility(ies) for an entry of a corrupted data. it goes without saying, this body should be tech-savvy.

the suggestion of a paper-less electoral exercise, likewise should not be given a chance to bloom; it is too risky, and devoid of any accounting controls.

as the saying goes, garbage data in will in turn produce garbage data out. thus, together with any decision to automate the elections, there should be a parallel concrete steps to prevent the entry of Garci’s clones in the whole exercise.

i suggest further, PCIJ take an active role; given their knowledge in personalities involved in the last elections’ betrayal of public trust, in rendering paralysis to their modus operandi: that is, if we cannot make them physically disappear from this world.

having said all these, am willing to agree with indio_lawless to go away with elections, if we cannot have any of the suggestions above- maybe ’tis better, GMA will bring us all to her enchanted kingdom… she did promised right?

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Phil Cruz

June 14th, 2006 at 12:38 am

This thread has focused on election cheats, as maybe it should. But I would like to say that all kinds of cheats must be punished, not just election cheats.

Cheats come in a variety of forms. Liars, thieves, tax evaders, smugglers, embezzlers, fork-tongued congressmen, senators, cabinet members and bribe-taking government officials. All these cheats must be punished, not just the election cheats.

The problem is NON-ENFORCEMENT of the laws. Our system of justice is weak. If it were strong, cheats and law violators would not have such a heyday.

This administration and past administrations are guilty of NON-ENFORCEMENT and SELECTIVE ENFORCEMENT of laws. Punish the weak and the poor, reward the strong and the rich.

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Juan Makabayan

June 14th, 2006 at 1:35 am

Is there a consensus for a boycott
1) if no satisfactory electoral reforms are done?
2) if no COMELEC overhaul is done?
3) if no Budget for 2006 is passed or Budget is vetoed by GMA?

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gwaping

June 14th, 2006 at 12:23 pm

Okay then Alecks, punishing the cheats is one part of the solution, AUTOMATION is another part & cleansing COMELEC should be added. But more than these, changing the political structure I think will help. Disallow multi-party system, take out the limited term (it’s not effective anyway), make Senate a regional contest, prolong local executive terms to 4 or 6 years including representatives (3-year term is so expensive, it’s killing us).

But then again sorry but in my view it is wrong to state that PUNISHING THE CHEATS, NOT ELECTION AUTOMATION, IS THE REAL SOLUTION.

JM, boycott is only for losers!

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Juan Makabayan

June 14th, 2006 at 2:35 pm

2004 election is controlled by GMA who got caught, Cheating part I,
If there no changes, 2007 is sequel of 2004 election, Cheating Part II,

always better to be a loser than a cheater, ask ur mom or pop or mum, dont ask glo

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gwaping

June 14th, 2006 at 4:19 pm

JM, remember that during the Marcos time, no change was introduced but we won. We won because we joined the election, we won because WE ARE ONE in exposing the cheating, we can do the same now instead of QUITTING! EDSA 1 was born because we fought, WE OPTED NOT TO BE LOSERS, now you ask your mom or pop, don’t ask Glo!

Remember the ‘walk out’ of computer experts in PICC? It manifests that no matter how hard the system will be, people will always stand up to fight for their rights.

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johnmarzan

June 14th, 2006 at 4:45 pm

mind you, there are still many Garci’s lurking around the corner, and ready, in fact raring, to deliver again those deadly blows against democracy and the citizenry.

well, Garci lieutenants have just been recently promoted, if you care to know…

How safe and dependable is this system is best answered by the question, has anyone cracked the banking system that use this system?

would you trust a bank kung matagal mo nang alam na magnanakaw ang bank president nito o yung taong nagpapatakbo at nag-aappoint ng mga employees at computer technicians nito? Na nahuli sila dati na nagnanakaw ng pera ng mga clients ng patago, pero nakalusut sila at nandyan pa rin sa bangko?

this is not just one independent rogue bank teller na pwede mong mapalitan kaagad or an outside hacker trying to steal money electronically, but the crooks mismo are the ones running the banks and it’s managers are the ones doing the stealing (with help from it’s appointed bank employees) and has been caught before. an inside job, ika nga.

they knowingly put their trusted people in place sa loob ng bangko, and they’re the first ones to protect their people kapag nahuli sila (katulad ni garci at joc joc), para hindi sila magsalita. yung iba pa nga ay nabibigyan ng promotion o ibang trabaho sa ibang department (e.g. the GLORIAGATE Generals).

Hindi nga garantiya na mawawala ang dayaan sa “automated election”, ngunit hindi dapat maging hadlang ito upang hindi tayo makaalis “jurrassic” method na matagal na nating ginagamit.Talaga namang kahit modernong paraan kung talagang may masamang hangarin makapandaya, gagamitan din yan sa pamamagitan ng modernong..Kung Ayaw May Dahilan,Kung Gusto May Paraan.

I’m for a speedier count, but in the arroyo run elections, speed does not necessarily mean tama ang bilang.

can we trust the results of the arroyo-run elections, just because lumabas na ang resulta after one day?

people like to talk about speed, pero “garbage in garbage out” (GIGO) yan eh. and anybody who tells you that it is easier to catch the cheaters sa automated voting kaysa sa manual voting IS LYING. anybody who tells you that it is easier to cheat pag manual ang voting kaysa sa automated, IS LYING.

having said that, i’d be more confident with the automated system once we remove of Arroyo from malacanang and get rid of all her incompetent, corrupt, untrustworthy COMELEC commissioners AND officials.

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gwaping

June 14th, 2006 at 4:59 pm

Johnmarzan, sorry, wait till 2010 :-)

Anybody who tells you that automated system is reliable after Arroyo is LYING. Anybody who tells you that there’ll be no GARBAGE after Arroyo is LYING.

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joselu

June 14th, 2006 at 5:20 pm

Alecks, cheating is a social problem but the election proceses is technical .Meaning, it’s a matter of processes, organization & systems.
If a system allows to much “human intervention” the more it leands itself to manipulation & magic.
Social matters are more related to culture, attitudes & beleifs.
Elections is a proceses gathering & tabulating votes. It is a practice of a human right that must be protected w/ a credible system.

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gwaping

June 14th, 2006 at 5:36 pm

Amen, Joselu! We improve on the technical side and we improve on the human side as well!

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johnmarzan

June 14th, 2006 at 7:00 pm

Johnmarzan, sorry, wait till 2010 :-)

Anybody who tells you that automated system is reliable after Arroyo is LYING. Anybody who tells you that there’ll be no GARBAGE after Arroyo is LYING.

thanks, mr. bunye. hail gloria! the true real legitimate leader of this country.

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lamok

June 14th, 2006 at 7:35 pm

it seems people are against automated system ( or any other gov program for that matter) for the simple reason that there is GMA.

it seems that the left is bent on a campaign focused on anti GMA at whatver cost i.e. eveyrthing will not work, eveyrthing is dirty, the world is black, the world is hopeless, because GMA is there. hay….naku. These people should be more objective..and more reasonable.

Kulang na lang isisi kay gloria ang pagputok ng bulusan, o kaya ang pagdating ng tag-ulan.

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Juan Makabayan

June 15th, 2006 at 11:45 am

“during the Marcos time, no change was introduced” ?

GMA is worse than Marcos.

GMA is shameless. GMA will not submit for a snap election, Marcos did. That snap changed the whole scenario.

GMA is a more sophisticated cheater. GMA finalized the Grand Plan to cheat 2004 election by Feb 2002. If Marcos’ snap election was operated the Gloria way, no walk out will happen.

GMA is crueler. GMA allowed shooting in the May 1 EDSA3 rally, bloody dispersals, killings, abductions, warrant-less arrests…

Many on this blog and in other fora, including the CBCP are questioning the credibility of the 2007 elections without electoral reforms specially with the present COMELEC. Learning a lesson from the 2004 election controversies that are still unresolved because of a continuing cover-up, voters are setting preconditions and evauating options.

freewheel:
“am willing to agree with indio_lawless to go away with elections, if we cannot have any of the suggestions above”
johnmarzan:
“i’d be more confident with the automated system once we remove of Arroyo from malacanang and get rid of all her incompetent, corrupt, untrustworthy COMELEC commissioners AND officials.”

If reforms are not implemented, GMA and her ilk will again cheat in this election and claim that the legitimacy issue is solved.

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reybuendia

June 15th, 2006 at 3:13 pm

A good solution is this… total palagi lang naman nakikialam ang mga pare at madre,mga Ka Eddie sa politkal na gawain sa ating bansang Pilipinas ,pati na rin sa paglukluk ng presidente (directly or indirectly) e bakit di pa natin silang gawing mamuno sa COMELEC. Afterall they claim na they don’t cheat. in that way they cannot influence and place ang kanilang “tuta”.Takot ang mga tao sa kanila kabilang na rin ang mga heneral at siyempre miyembro ng kongreso/senado at gabinete/presidente.Dito rin natin makikita kung kanino talaga sila kampi. Sa mga karaniwang tao ba o sa ilang mapagsamantalang mga politika/heneral/presidente.Better yet, would they be accountable to GOD who they claim to worship or to … Isang salita lang ” excommunicated ka” tapos na ang usapan.Oooo baka lang siguro makapal ang mukha,hindi tinatablan.Yes I agree, Punish the Cheaters…Punish…Punish… Hindi tayo aasenso kung ganyan,nagpapatay malisya na lang palagi. rey”iking”buendia

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Alecks Pabico

June 15th, 2006 at 6:07 pm

Gwaping,

Obviously, political and electoral reforms, those I have outlined in this previous post (http://pcij.org/blog/?p=799), will have to be pursued. Election automation is but a part of that process that entails long-term, structural changes in our political and electoral systems if Philippine democracy is to be strengthened and made meaningful in the lives of Filipinos. As one political and electoral reform advocate put it: Elections are held only once every three years. But bad governance resulting from a bad electoral system occurs day to day.

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Techno Pinoy » Archives » Punishing the cheats, not automation, is the solution?

June 15th, 2006 at 6:18 pm

[...] PCIJ quotes Verzola: Computerization gives a false sense of security that everything will be tamper-proof, he says. “Computerizing the system will not stop them from committing fraud. Once they learn how to, cheats will make use of computers to cheat.” [...]

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The politics of automating the elections -- Pinoy Tech Blog - The Philippines’ Premier Technology Blog

June 15th, 2006 at 6:47 pm

[...] PCIJ quotes Verzola: Computerization gives a false sense of security that everything will be tamper-proof, he says. “Computerizing the system will not stop them from committing fraud. Once they learn how to, cheats will make use of computers to cheat.” [...]

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gwaping

June 16th, 2006 at 10:18 am

JM, sorry for you guys, only few of you are not willing to exercise your right of suffrage for fear that results from your imagination and paranoia, tsk, tsk, tsk…what I am saying during the Marcos regime is that even if we know that there’ll be cheating we opted to participate in the election, if we opted not to, do you think there’ll be EDSA 1?

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gwaping

June 16th, 2006 at 10:44 am

Alecks thanks, I agree!

One problem though that I can perceive with so many bloggers that commented in this issue is that their view is that they are isolating Gloria, she can’t be singled out for us to recognize the problems!

Example, during the height of the Garci tape, many top opposition leaders admitted that Enrile talked to Garci and this was confirmed by Enrile himself. Purposely they told that that conversation was intended in order to caution Garci of the intended cheating. CAN’T EVERYBODY READ BETWEEN THOSE LINES? ALL OF THEM ARE AWARE THAT THERE’LL BE CHEATING, EVERYBODY KNOWS THAT ELECTION THERE ARE CHEATINGS PRIOR TO 2004 ELECTION, EVERYBODY KNOWS THAT ENRILE HAD ACCESS TO GARCI BECAUSE OF PREVIOUS DEALINGS. And yet ALL of them would shout only IN 2005! To me this is the greatest hypocrisy.

One of my hypotheses is that, it could be that GARCI who helped ENRILE in cheating PIMENTEL in 1995(?). PIMENTEL started a crusade in that year, now where is ENRILE & PIMENTEL, friends and opposing Gloria because of legitimacy? C’mon! Who would help Mirriam when she was cheated by Ramos? Where is Tito Guingona that time, with FVR of course? Going back to Marcos, who would help legitimize his cheatings, the Estradas & the Escuderos among others, now they will shout DISREGARD THE CHEATERS AND THEIR SUPPORTERS? SHAME ON THEM!

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gwaping

June 16th, 2006 at 11:20 am

Johnmarzan, thanks that you realized that :-) Hail Gloria!

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Juan Makabayan

June 16th, 2006 at 4:05 pm

Malacanang operators, agents and hackers

are paranoid about protecting Gloria.

Problem solving: Consider many factors, many causes,
Prioritizing: identify and isolate the malefactor that causes the most serious problems:

Gloria Macapagal Arroyo in Malacanang can do good or cause great harm.

Gloria is in conflict with the Supreme Court, Senate, HRC, Church, Media, Civil Society, IBP, Academe, …

Gloria in Malacanang is the most serious, not the only, but the most serious cause of the crises. If Gloria stays somewhere else other than Malacanang fine, so it’s not Gloria per se, it is Gloria in Malacanang.

She’s still in Malacanang only because of her corrupt generals.

If Gloria is out, problems remain, but if Gloria stays problems multiply and intensify.

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Juan Makabayan

June 16th, 2006 at 4:07 pm

Malacanang operators, agents and hackers

are paranoid about protecting Gloria in Malacanang.

Problem solving: Consider many factors, many causes,
Prioritizing: identify and isolate the malefactor that causes the most serious problems:

Gloria Macapagal Arroyo in Malacanang can do good or cause great harm.

Gloria is in conflict with the Supreme Court, Senate, HRC, Church, Media, Civil Society, IBP, Academe, …

Gloria in Malacanang is the most serious, not the only, but the most serious cause of the crises. If Gloria stays somewhere else other than Malacanang fine, so it’s not Gloria per se, it is Gloria in Malacanang.

She’s still in Malacanang only because of her corrupt generals.

If Gloria is out, problems remain; but if Gloria stays, problems multiply and intensify.

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gwaping

June 16th, 2006 at 4:40 pm

JM: Malacanang operators, agents and hackers are paranoid about protecting Gloria.

Seems you can’t withstand someone talking inconsistent to what you are invoking, don’t you think it’s paranoia? Learn to listen and respect other opinions and views. Not all that depend Gloria is from Malacanang, not all are agents not all are hackers. THOSE WHO ARE AGAINST HER IS A SIMPLE MINORITY AND YOU ARE SO PARANOID NOT TO BELIEVE IT, IT’S SUCH THAT YOU’VE GOT A LOUDER VOICE THAT THOSE THAT STILL BELIEVE HER AND WOULD LIKE TO BELIEVE HER.

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lionking

June 19th, 2006 at 9:46 pm

Once a Cheater, Always a Cheater!!! Tama! Hindi computerization ang kelangan para mawala ang dayaan sa election. Wake up! COMELEC, open your eyes not your pockets! Computerization will cost too much because of corruption, from the very beginning of bidding process, so how could you expect that the counting process will be free from cheating, if the equipment is a product of unhonest and unreliable government bidding process.

Hello! hi-tec na ang panahon ngayon, mas mura ang presyo ng isang mahusay na IT professional, compare sa libo-libong teacher na kelangang bayaran pag manual ang election, at kelangan mandaya ng mga katulad ni Garcillano.

Guess ko lang, pag na computerized na ang election, magkakaroon na ng slot sa gobyenro ang mga computer professional, ha ha ha,

So tama na ang lokohan kabayan, palakasin na lang sana ng gobyerno (problema illegitimate ang gobyerno natin e) ang involvement ng watchdog on electoral process, bigyan ng sapat na edukasyon ang mga tao (hindi iyong bubulagin lamang sa 3buwan na trabaho) at bigyan ng magandang suweldo ang mga teacher (para pag election hindi na nila kelangang maghintay kung sino ang magbibid sa dayaan at ng kumita ng extra). For sure pag nagawa ng gobyerno iyon we will have amore transparent election.

Pahabol lang ito, sana magising na ang kasalukuyang administrasyon at malaman nila na sila ang ugat ng lahat ng problema, kase po doubtful ang maraming filipinoi kung sila nga ang lehitimong administrasyon. Gumising naman sana sila… at harapin ang katotohana. Si Abalos, ihambalos doon sa mga computerized counting machine at ng magising sa katotohanan.

Definitely, computerized election will result to computerized cheating. Mas mabuti na iyong manual muna at least matatanong mo iyong teacher at watcher kung ano ang nangyari sa bilangan. Pero pag computerized matatanong mo ba iyong machine? Iyong mahcine “YES or NO” “0 & 1″ lang ang alam non ano, wala pang puso. O di ba.. Gising kayo!

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rverzola

June 23rd, 2006 at 3:51 pm

Alecks Pabico of PCIJ has asked me to join this discussion and respond to comments about my opinions on election automation and my analysis that the main solution is to punish the cheats.

I agreed and will respond to comments on certain conditions:
1. That the person commenting has actually read my paper about NAMFREL (posted on the PCIJ site and my article “Punish the cheats” in http://www.geocities.com/no.cheats, and says so in his/her comment.
2. That the tetter is addressed directly to me (not to my email address, but the comment’s heading says it is addressed to me), and that it contains at the end the person’s real name.

I will respond to comments that meet those two conditions. I set those conditions to avoid wasting everybody’s time repeating what is already in the articles, or posting the tables in those articles here.

Regards to all,

Obet Verzola

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Alecks Pabico

June 23rd, 2006 at 4:17 pm

Welcome, Obet!

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mmka

June 26th, 2006 at 9:10 am

Like many other elections, the Venezuelan Recall referendum which was mentioned a lot of times in the previous comments, was bombarded with a lot of negative issues. It is understandable because most political issues tread that path. But from what I’ve gathered through thorough research, the results of the recall referendum was actually supported by internationally acclaimed organizations. The Organization of American Societies and The Carter Center along with several international observers audited the electronically tabulated results through manually counting it. The system used was actually developed by Smartmatic Corporation. Aside from electronically storing the votes casted, they also release some kind of receipts, which will work as ballots, much like automated teller machines. You should check out the conclusion of the Carter Center’s report to know exactly where I’m getting at.
I also have to disagree to those who said that computers make it much easier to tamper results. Maybe that will be the case if we use the computers that we use everyday. I heard that Smartmatic’s machine is not at all like that. It is really designed for elections and its levels of securities are to die for. Go check out http://www.smartmatic.com.

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