Comelec’s OMR Promotes Wholesale Cheating, Reports Show

The OES, on the other hand, is not only a viable technology but it also meets the objectives for a transparent and credible election as mandated by RA 9369. As an automation system, the OES involves the manual counting of votes at the precinct but uses automation through the encoding of election returns followed by the electronic posting of the ERs, SOVs, COCs, and other election data – inclusive of the municipal/city to national levels – to a public web that is accessible to the people.

While the OMR requires the tedious and costly process of educating and training not only election inspectors but also voters, the OES will not. Above all, this open and transparent technology addresses the objective of RA 9369 which is to adopt and use “the most suitable technology of demonstrated capability taking into account the situation prevailing in the area and the funds available for the purpose.” (Section 1) Given the other constraints to a fully-automated election system, including the low-tech literacy of many election inspectors and tens and millions of voters, as well as the time constraints of the Comelec the OES is a practical remedy of introducing gradual high-tech automation while making the 2010 elections transparent and credible.

Among other activities, the calendared customization of systems is set until November 2009, training for Comelec technical personnel in December 2009- February 2010, and public demonstrations in February to May 2010 – a tight schedule that provides only two-three months for education and training of the public on full high-tech election system, a first in the country’s fraud-ridden electoral history.

With OES, however, sufficient time is allowed to ensure people participation under a gradual introduction of full automated elections given the stringent requirements to prepare the public and all other stakeholders including the media, NGOs and other advocates for the conduct of open, transparent, and credible elections.

While we note that no automation system will absolutely guarantee a fraud- and tamper-free election, the OES offers the potential of greater transparency while complying with the rights of the voters to have access to public information such as, in this particular case, election results. Aside from the ERs, access to election results will allow all interested parties as well as the voters to verify the election results and undertake necessary measures to protect their right to vote and that of the candidates and political parties. To us this is more important. We hear voices from concerned individuals and organizations citing more transparent technology like the OES as the mechanism that may help bring credibility and trust to the country’s electoral process. (Posted by (

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